Gao Xingjian

1940 · China

Artist biography

Gao Xingjian is regarded as a well established artist, who originates from China. Gao Xingjian was born in 1940. Born in the same country and of the same generation are Zao Wou Ki, Yang Yanping and Wucius Wong.

Galleries

Gao Xingjian is represented and exhibited by two galleries, which are Aktis Gallery in London, the United Kingdom and Galería Senda in Barcelona, Spain.

Historical Context of China

A pioneer in technology and technical development in both the arts and sciences, China and its artisans have pioneered many incredible innovations. For instance, true porcelain, with kaolin as the key ingredient, was developed in China in the early 1300s. It would not be developed in Europe with the same technical quality and physical properties until 1722, when the Meissen factory in Germany also uncovered the secrets of the recipe. Modern art production, when not focused on championing the ideals of the State, instead reworked many of the classical ideals of Calligraphic ink works made with the brush.

Further Biographical Context for Gao Xingjian

Gao Xingjian was born in 1940 and was largely influenced by the 1960s. Historically established in the context of the Cold War, the 1960s represent an extremely influential era which generated an important number of disruptions and questioned the order of all things. In Europe, The Iron Curtain and the Berlin wall would eternally mark people and beliefs, while in the U.S, predicaments such as the Cuban missile crisis and Vietnam war would forever impact generations to come. From education to gender issues and ideologies, a re-definition of social standards in Western society developed, with revolutionary philosophies and movements emerging in a cradle of inventiveness. Honesty and an emptiness of emotions were key concepts in the highly influential movement of Minimalism, represented by artists like Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Uninterested in the gestural elements of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalist artists focused on producing artworks mainly gathering polished, pure lines and geometrical elements. The very first blossoming of Conceptualism was highly influenced by the simplicity of Minimalism but went further in denying all pre-defined conceptions inherent to art, similarly to what Pop Artists were trying to attain, by elevating popular culture to the status of high art. Several schools of philosophy deeply influenced creatives, Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti were artists heavily persuaded by the ideologies of Existentialism, who achieved worldwide fame through their depiction of the human form and the anguish often linked to the human condition. globally, an important number of art movements resonated with the radical changes of the 1960s, often prone to their own regional distinctions. In Italy, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni created Spatialism, while in Germany, the Zero group espoused similar ideas under the leadership of Günther Uecker.

Gao Xingjian

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