Gerard Ortin

1988 · Spain

Artist biography

Gerard Ortin is an early career emerging artist, who was born and brought up in Spain, like other famous artists such as Lluís Blanc, Ariadna Guiteras, Joan Hernández Pijuan, Carlota Juncosa, and Fernando Sinaga. Gerard Ortin was born in 1988.

Historical Context of Spain

The influence of Spain was substantial in developing the art of the twentieth century. Initially with his Blue then Rose periods, although he would eventually settle in to France in 1904, Picasso unfolded a truly expressive approach to figuration in the early 1900s, the era of post-Impressionism. Pablo Picasso is also thought to be the most influential original member of Cubism, a major art movement in which he would also be joined by Spanish artist Juan Gris. While they were settled in France for the majority part of their respective artistic careers, Salvador Dali and Joan Miro were both highly prominent figures in the Surrealist movement.

The political and cultural landscape of Spain in the twentieth century was governed by the totalitarian dictatorship of General Franco, whose regime subjugated the country from 1939 to 1975. His death prompted a restitution of the monarchy to Juan-Carlos I, who consequently restructured the State. The Franco dictatorship, typified by a fierce anti-communist position, led to the exodus of major intellectual and cultural figures, decided to escape this oppressive regime. The artistic and cultural flourishing of the avant-garde were deeply stirred by this situation, as liberal artistic movements are frequently significative of leftist inclinations. Some critically acclaimed modern and contemporary Spanish artists include Antoni Tapíes, Eduardo Chillida, Eduardo Arroyo and Manolo Valdes.

Further Biographical Context for Gerard Ortin

Gerard Ortin was born in 1988 and grew up during the 1990s and was influenced by the artistic culture of the time. In the United Kingdom, a collective of artists known as the YBAs, or Young British Artists, dominated the artistic culture of the decade. They were a loosely affiliated and diverse group, united generally by their age and nationality. Many of the members had attended the Royal College of Art and Goldsmiths in London, and were favoured by Charles Saatchi, the ‘super collector’ of art at the time. The most famous member of the group is arguably Damien Hirst, and other members included Chris Ofili, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Gavin Turk, Sarah Lucas and Sam Taylor-Johnson (née Sam Taylor-Wood). Through their use of shock tactics and sensationalism, the YBAs gained a controversial public image which was further fuelled by their use of throwaway materials, wild lifestyles and an attitude that was at the same time rebellious and enterprising. The group dominated the British art scene in the 1990s and their group show ‘Sensation’ is now viewed as legendary.

The boom in consumerism and advertising that took place in the 1980s influenced a trend in Japan that matured into the art form of manga, which was visually influenced by trends in advertising and graphic design. Takashi Murakami arose as a leading figure in the art world, coining the term ‘Superflat’ to describe a theory inspired by the aesthetic characteristics of manga and the nature of post-war Japanese culture. Murakami went on to found the influential Kaikai Kiki collective, which was inspired by his experiences living in New York City in the mid-1990s.

Relational Aesthetics, a term coined by curator Nicholas Bourriaud to describe the act of making art based on human relations and their social context, became a leading idea in the 1990s. Works by artists like Douglas Gordon, Gillian Wearing, Philippe Parenno and Liam Gillick were described as important artists who worked to this idea.

The art world was influenced by a number of trends throughout the 1990s, the divisive, hyper-realistic sculptures of Maurizio Cattelan and the sensitive, conceptual work of Felix Gonzalez-Torres epitomised the atmosphere of the era.

German artists and ideas heavily influenced trends in conceptual photography during this time. German artists such as Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, and Wolfgang Tillmans gained major recognition, and inspired international artists such as the Canadian Jeff Wall, who created images with a cinematic expressiveness that were inspired by the themes present in the German artists’ work. At the same time, Albert Oehlen and Martin Kippenberger gained influential status in the field of painting.

Gerard Ortin

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