Gerry Brennan

1941

Artist biography

Gerry Brennan is an established contemporary artist, Gerry Brennan was born in 1941. Artists born in the same year and of the same generation are Sue Williamson, Joe Brainard, Franco De Bernardi, Mady Andrien, and Gary Baigent.

Further Biographical Context for Gerry Brennan

Born in 1941, Gerry Brennan was largely influenced by the 1960s growing up. The universal impact of the 1960s was truly sensational across the globe. Illustrative of a time inspiring both hope and anger, the 1960s prompted an explosion of new ideologies and movements, truly exciting and ground-breaking. Historically established in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly influential impact worldwide, mainly defined by the Iron Curtain separating Europe both physically and spiritually, and drastically marked by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The 1960s re-defined all pre-existing assumptions on gender, race and justice, questioned education as well as morality and selfhood – for instance through the civil rights movement and second wave of feminism, as well as student political uprisings. The incredible escalation of mass consumerism also defined the era, generating new trends in marketing and advertising. Minimalism developed the crucial idea that art should exist in its own reality, and not try to mimic the real world. Born of a desire to eradicate all pre-established conceptions about art, Minimalism became a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key figures. Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler were artists who sought to explore further some of the most fundamental ideologies of Abstract Expressionism, while eliminating the expressive and highly personal aspect it would often associated with it. This led to the creation of Colour Field painting, deeply relating to Minimalism. The iconic contemporary art movements that reverberated through the wave of radicalism of the 1960s also had their own distinctions and scopes, particular to different areas or countries. Spatialism, for instance, was established in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies embraced by the Zero group in Germany. Throughout Europe, the philosophy of Existentialism strongly influenced artists such as Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who strived to depict the raw human emotions often connected to reflections on death and the lingering anxiety of the meaninglessness of life.

Gerry Brennan

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