Javier Ruiz

1989 · Spain

Artist biography

Javier Ruiz is seen as an emerging contemporary artist, who originates from Spain, like other famous artists such as Diego Canogar, Emilio Grau Sala, Julia Llerene, Hyper Studio, and Josep Moscardó. Javier Ruiz was born in 1989.

About Javier Ruiz' work

Javier Ruiz is famous for producing figurative work. In essence, figurative art is art which depicts recognizable features of reality, or of the human figure. Although the definition appears to be rather simple, figuration still remains in its very soul more than just a depiction of reality. Indeed, the different styles in which figurative art can be achieved are infinite, thus making figurative art a ground-breaking and ever evolving category, in which Javier Ruiz' work is mainly grounded. Some critically acclaimed artists known for their impact on figurative art include Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Paul Cézanne or Jean-Michel Basquiat.

Historical Context of Spain

Spain has played a crucial role in the development of art in the twentieth century. In the early 1900s, a young Pablo Picasso established a uniquely expressive approach to figuration in the post-Impressionist era, initially with his Blue then Rose periods, although he was to settle in Paris in 1904. Picasso was also the central founding member of the Cubist movement, a group in which he was joined by fellow Spaniard Juan Gris. Both Salvador Dali and Joan Miro were leading figures in the Surrealist movement, though they were also domiciled in France for large parts of their careers.

During the twentieth century the political and cultural landscape of Spain was ruled by the totalitarian autocracy of General Franco whose dictatorship ruled the country, in one form or another, from 1939 until 1975, at which time the monarchy was restored to Juan-Carlos I who then implemented substantial reform. The Franco regime was noted for its brutal anti-communist stance, and the departure of important intellectual and cultural figures that chose not to live under an oppressive regime. The cultural life of the avant-garde suffered significantly, since liberal artistic movements are often known for their leftist leanings. Important modern and contemporary Spanish artists include Antoni Tapíes, Eduardo Chillida, Eduardo Arroyo, and Manolo Valdes.

Further Biographical Context for Javier Ruiz

Born in 1989, Javier Ruiz' creative work was primarily influenced by the 1990s. Art in the 1990s was defined at the beginning of the decade by a group of artists in the United Kingdom that came to be known as the YBAs, or Young British Artists. They were a diverse collective of creatives, affiliated loosely by their age, nationality, and their association with Goldsmiths and the Royal College of Art in London, as well as being favoured by super collector of the time Charles Saatchi. The most successful artist of the group is Damien Hirst, who was also an early organiser of group activities. Other members included Chris Ofili, Tracey Emin, Marc Quinn, Gavin Turk, Sarah Lucas and Sam Taylor-Wood. Much of their work became known for shock tactics and the sensationalism of both material and message. They also became known for their use of throwaway materials, wild-living, and an attitude that was simultaneously counter-culture rebellion but also entrepreneurial. They gained considerable amount of media coverage and dominated British art during the 1990s. Their international shows in the mid-1990s included the now legendary ‘Sensation'.

Conceptual photography led by German ideas and artists came to prominence. Artists such as Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, and Wolfgang Tillmans gained major recognition, and inspired other artists such as the Canadian Jeff Wall, who experimented with the kind of cinematic expansiveness associated with the German artists’ work. Painters like Albert Oehlen and Martin Kippenberger exerted a notable influence on younger artists.

Also gaining prominence at this time was a developing trend in Japan related to the huge boom in advertising and consumerism that took place during the economic dominance of the 1980s. The indigenous comic book culture of manga, allied to trends in advertising, graphic design and packaging, saw a young artist called Takashi Murakami develop his theories which he coined ’Superflat’. Influenced by his experiences in New York City in the mid-1990s, Murakami formed a powerful group called Kaikaikiki, which became internationally renowned as an artistic group.

Relational Aesthetics became a key idea. It was a term created by curator Nicholas Bourriaud in the 1990s to describe the tendency to make art based on, or inspired by, human relations and their social context. Works by artists including Douglas Gordon, Gillian Wearing, Philippe Parenno and Liam Gillick were described as key artists who worked to this agenda.

A proliferation of trends characterised the decade, including the highly irreverent sculpture of Maurizio Cattelan, and extremely sensitive advancements of conceptualism as shown in the work of artists like Felix Gonzalez-Torres.

Javier Ruiz

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