1967 · Switzerland
Gerda Steiner is a mid-career contemporary visual artist, who originates from Switzerland. Gerda Steiner was born in 1967. Also born in Switzerland around 1967 and of the same generation are Pipilotti Rist and Ugo Rondinone.
Historical Context of Switzerland
Perhaps the most important Swiss contribution to the history of Modernism was the formation of the Dada movement in Zurich in 1916. Its initial members included Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, Jean Arp and Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Emmy Hennings, and Marcel Janco. Their headquarters, the Cabaret Voltaire, quickly became an prominent centre of the artistic and intellectual avant-garde, with the political neutrality Switzerland being a refuge from political uncertainty elsewhere in Europe. Prior to that, Switzerland had produced some quirky and extraordinary artists in the Post-Impressionist span of the early twentieth century, including Ferdinand Hodler and Felix Vallotton. Another major movement that can be connected to a Swiss artist was the ‘International Style’ of modernist architecture, pioneered by Le Corbusier. Le Corbusier might have become a French citizen in 1930, but he was born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret in the Neuchâtel canton of Switzerland in 1887. Indeed, his first independent projects were executed in his hometown of La Chaux-de-Fonds, including proto modern domestic villas for affluent local clients. Important Swiss artists of the twentieth century include Jean Tingely, Alberto Giacometti, John Armleder, Pipilotti Rist and Thomas Hirschhorn.
Further Biographical Context for Gerda Steiner
Born in 1967, Gerda Steiner's creative work was primarily inspired by the 1980s. The 1980s were a turbulent period culturally, and were marked by growing global capitalism, widespread mass media, significant discrepancies in wealth, alongside a distinctive sense of music and fashion, epitomised by electronic pop music and hip hop. Artists growing up during this time were heavily influenced by this cultural atmosphere. The 1980s were a significant decade in terms of politics, marked by the African Famine and the end of the Cold War, which was signified by the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Neo Geo and The Pictures Generation became leading art movements during the decade, alongside Neo-Expressionism which became popular in Germany, France and Italy (where it was known as Transavanguardia). Artists such as Anselm Kiefer, Jörg Immendorf, Enzo Cucchi, Francesco Clemente and Julian Schnabel were key artists of the era, alongside Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring and Kenny Scharf, who established the street art and graffiti movements.