Further Biographical Context for Gottfried Hula
Born in 1941, Gottfried Hula was largely inspired by the 1960s. The universal impact of the 1960s was truly astonishing across the globe. Representative of a time stirring both faith and anger, the 1960s prompted an explosion of cutting-edge philosophies and movements, truly sensational and spectacular. Historically set in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly powerful impact internationally, mainly defined by the Iron Curtain separating Europe both physically and spiritually, and drastically marked by the erection 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 significant escalation of mass consumerism also defined the era, generating new trends in marketing and advertising. Minimalism established the central idea that art should subsist in its own reality, and not try to represent the real world. Born of a desire to erase all pre-established conceptions about art, Minimalism turned into 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 emotional and highly personal aspect it would usually entail with it. This led to the creation of Colour Field painting, deeply identifying with Minimalism. The iconic contemporary art movements that echoed 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 founded 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 sought to depict the raw human emotions often connected to reflections on death and the haunting angst of the meaninglessness of life.