Ian Breakwell

1943 · United Kingdom

Artist biography

Ian Breakwell is an established contemporary artist, who was born in the United Kingdom. Ian Breakwell was born in 1943. Also born in the United Kingdom around 1943 and of the same generation are Maggi Hambling, Richard Cook and Phyllida Barlow.

Ian Breakwell's Gallery representation

Ian Breakwell's work is available for viewing at Anthony Reynolds Gallery in London, the United Kingdom.

Historical Context of United Kingdom

The UK has been an essential centre for artistic production for centuries. While it accrued tremendous wealth through colonisation and the ascent of its Empire, it was also unsheltered from the cultural supremacy of other countries and continents. Throughout the modern era, Britain had been largely eclipsed by the reputation of its European neighbours on one side, and of the United States on the other. But towards the end of the 19th century, Britain became an important hub in the development of the avant-garde. This includes the Arts and Crafts Movement, a major movement setting the tone for artist-led organisations, groups and organisational co-operative types that would later develop into a template of sorts for bohemian artists movements of the Twentieth Century. Ground-breaking artistic movements in British modernism include for example Vorticism, involving artists related to the Bloomsbury group. Some significant British artists of the modern and contemporary period include Stanley Spencer, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Leon Kossoff, Frank Auerbach, David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Paula Rego - and in more recent years the YBA generation led by Damien Hirst, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Chris Ofili and others.

Further Biographical Context for Ian Breakwell

Ian Breakwell was born in 1943 and was predominantly influenced by the 1960s growing up. Historically set in the context of the Cold War, the 1960s symbolize an extremely powerful era which engendered a significant number of disruptions and questioned the order of all things. In Europe, The Iron Curtain and the Berlin wall would eternally mark people and beliefs, while in the U.S, predicaments such as the Cuban missile crisis and Vietnam war would forever impact generations to come. From education to gender issues and ideologies, a re-definition of social standards in Western society developed, with ground-breaking values and movements emerging in a cradle of inventiveness. Honesty and an emptiness of emotions were key concepts in the highly influential movement of Minimalism, represented by artists like Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Bored of the gestural elements of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalist artists focused on delivering artworks mainly gathering 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 a fundamentally ruled-based approach, devoid of any emotional features. Several schools of philosophy profoundly influenced creatives, Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti were artists heavily seduced by the ideas of Existentialism, who achieved worldwide fame through their depiction of the human form and the anguish often associated with the human condition. worldwide, an important number of art movements resonated 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 embraced similar ideas under the leadership of Günther Uecker.

Ian Breakwell

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