Further Biographical Context for Erik Heyninck
Born in 1952, Erik Heyninck was primarily inspired by the 1970s. The art sphere of the 1970s was epitomized by a desire to evolve and strengthen itself, as a reaction to the many conflicts of the previous decade. One of the most central movement of the 1970s was Conceptualism, which appeared as an offshoot of Minimalism, while the experimental, creative voyage of Process art emerged by combining essential aspects of Conceptualism with further reflections on art itself. The initial ideas of environmentalism sprung from Land Art, which took art into earth itself, carving the land and bringing art to the outdoors. For the first time since the decline of Abstract Expressionism, Expressive figure painting slowly resurfaced and regained its prominence, predominantly in Germany through the works of critically acclaimed figures Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. Most of the leading artistic figures of the 1960s remained highly influential and admired throughout the 1970s. Andy Warhol, for example, secured his reputation as a legendary artist, by bifurcating into film and magazine publishing, thus instituting a ground-breaking concept of cross-cultural activity for a visual artist of such popularity Reaching the end of the 1970s, street art, developing from graffiti, was starting to truly mesmerize the fine art community. Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat helped legitimize spray painting and tagging, demonstrating that their artworks could subsist at the same time in art galleries and on city walls. Following, the international reach of street art would become extremely significant, representing an extraordinary form of artistic expression.