Further Biographical Context for Elke Hopfe
Born in 1945, Elke Hopfe was largely inspired by the 1960s. The 1960s were an explosive decade internationally, witnessing a great increase of modernist philosophies and trends. It was the era of Kennedy and Kruschev, and the start of the Cold War, which would endure for most of the second half of the twentieth century, and was characterised most symbolically by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The Iron Curtain divided Eastern and Western Europe, both ideologically and literally, and student political uprisings took place across the globe. Psychedelia, an vast increase in consumerism, and the associated trends of marketing and advertising further defined the era. Minimalism developed a formal language with no external references, focused solely on line, colour and geometric form as key elements of both painting and sculpture. The key figures of Minimalism included Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Colour Field painting, as practiced by Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler, further developed some of the expressive ideas of Abstract Expressionism, but removed much of the rhetoric, instead approaching a more rule-based approach to surface and colour that associated this practice with Minimalism. Globally, many artistic movements echoed the artistic concerns of the above mentioned movements, often with regional fortes and nuance. In Italy, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni established Spatialism, and in Germany the Zero group under the leadership of Gunter Uecker espoused similar ideas. The influential school of Existentialist Philosophy was an important source of creativity for creatives, with artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti achieving international prominence for their distinctive approaches to the human form and the anguish related to the human condition.