Further Biographical Context for Gerald Hushlak
Gerald Hushlak was born in 1949 and was largely influenced by the 1960s growing up. In the art sphere, a multitude of powerful changes were also taking place. Pop Art, embracing the culture of mass media through the works of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann, was slowly breaking down the foundations on which the creation and reception of art were built. Drawing from the imagery of popular culture and mass consumerism, the Pop Artists refuted the authority of highbrow art and created a ground-breaking movement, while Minimalism, simultaneously appearing, was rejecting any form of emotional expression and focused on art’s theoretical features – aiming for pure visual responses. Simplicity and an emptiness of emotions were key concepts in the highly influential movement of Minimalism, embodied by artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Bored of the gestural elements of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalist artists focused on producing artworks mainly composed of polished, clean lines and geometrical elements. Exploring further into some of the ideas inherent to Abstract Expressionism, artists such as Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler practiced Colour Field Painting – strongly relating to Minimalism, with an essentially ruled-based approach, devoid of any emotional features. Several schools of philosophy deeply influenced creatives, Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti were artists fundamentally seduced 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. Internationally, a significant number of art movements resounded 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 adopted similar ideas under the leadership of Günther Uecker.