John Kirby

1949 · United Kingdom

Artist biography

John Kirby is regarded as a well established artist, who was born in the United Kingdom. John Kirby was born in 1949. Artists Maggi Hambling, Richard Cook and Phyllida Barlow are of the same generation and same country as John Kirby.

Galleries and Exhibitions

John Kirby's work is on display at Flowers | New York in the United States. John Kirby's work has most recently been displayed during the exhibition All Passion Spent at Flowers | Cork Street in London, the United Kingdom. The exhibition was open from 13 February 2019 until 30 March 2019. John Kirby's only other recorded exhibition on Artland is Summer Group Show, which took place at Flowers | New York in the United States (26 June 2019 - 29 August 2019).

Historical Context of United Kingdom

Britain has been a crucial hub for artistic production for centuries. While it gained tremendous wealth through colonisation and the rise of its Empire, it was also unsheltered from the cultural influences of other countries and continents. In the modern era, Britain had been significantly overshadowed by the influence of its European neighbours on one side, and of the United States on the other. But in the late nineteenth century, Britain became a significant centre in the development of the avant-garde. This includes the Arts and Crafts Movement, a cutting-edge 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 that characterize British modernism include for instance Vorticism, involving artists associated with the Bloomsbury group. Some notable 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 John Kirby

Born in 1949, John Kirby was largely influenced by the 1960s. In the art sphere, a multitude of significant changes were also taking place. Pop Art, embracing the culture of mass media through the artworks of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann, was slowly breaking down the foundations on which the creation and reception of art were built. Drawing from the imagery of popular culture and mass consumerism, the Pop Artists refuted the authority of highbrow art and created a ground-breaking movement, while Minimalism, simultaneously appearing, was rejecting any form of emotional manifestation and focused on art’s theoretical features – aiming for pure visual responses. Honesty and an emptiness of emotions were key concepts in the highly influential movement of Minimalism, represented by artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Uninterested in the gestural elements of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalist artists focused on producing artworks mainly composed of polished, clean lines and geometrical elements. Digging further into some of the concepts inherent to Abstract Expressionism, artists such as Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler practiced Colour Field Painting – decidedly relating to Minimalism, with a fundamentally ruled-based approach, devoid of any expressive aspect. Several schools of philosophy profoundly influenced creatives, Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti were artists fundamentally persuaded by the ideas of Existentialism, who achieved worldwide success through their depiction of the human form and the anguish often associated with the human condition. globally, a significant 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 initiated Spatialism, while in Germany, the Zero group espoused similar ideas under the leadership of Günther Uecker.

John Kirby

  • Exhibitions 2

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