Further Biographical Context for Fang Xiandao
Fang Xiandao was born in 1954 and was predominantly influenced by the 1970s growing up. The art sphere of the 1970s was characterized by a longing to grow and strengthen itself, as a reaction to the many conflicts of the previous decade. One of the most important movement of the 1970s was Conceptualism, which emerged as an offshoot of Minimalism, while the experimental, creative journey of Process art emerged by combining essential features of Conceptualism with further reflections on art itself. The initial ideas of environmentalism bounced from Land Art, which took art into earth itself, sculpting the land and bringing art to the outdoors. For the first time since the decline of Abstract Expressionism, Expressive figure painting slowly re-emerged and regained its status, especially in Germany through the works of critically acclaimed figures Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. The city of New York remained as the most prominent artistic hub of the decade, with international artists wandering through the downtown scene, visiting bars and art galleries, consolidating the idea of New York City as a cosmopolitan and refined cultural capital. Towards the end of the 1970s, street art, evolving from graffiti, was starting to truly fascinate the fine art community. Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat helped legitimize spray painting and tagging, demonstrating that their artworks could exist at the same time in art galleries and in urban settings. Following, the global reach of street art would become extremely significant, representing an extraordinary form of artistic expression.