Jorge Zontal (Jorg Saia)

1944 · Italy

Artist biography

Jorge Zontal (Jorg Saia) was an artist, who originates from Italy, like other well-known artists such as Nicola D’arco, Paolo Ventura, Carlo Maria Mariani, Fabiano Speziari, and Giacomo Balla. Jorge Zontal (Jorg Saia) was born in 1944.

Historical Context of Italy

The classical era of the Romans has exerted a consequential influence on the cultural and intellectual evolution of Italy, contributing to the uniqueness of the country and its splendid artistic legacy. Italy is also the country that epitomizes the Renaissance, “Riniscita” in its original language, which translates to “rebirth”. From the early 1400s, the Renaissance has been an intense era of cultural and political awakenings, inducing revivals in art, architecture, music, poetry and philosophy.

Although greatly affected by the fascism of Mussolini in the modern and contemporary era, Italy has never lost its place as one of the most fundamental artistic centres, home to cutting-edge movements such as Futurism and Arte Povera, as well as the expressive painting of the Transavanguardia and the Minimalism related to the Zero Movement. Some highly eminent Italian artists from the twentieth and twenty first centuries include Giorgio Di Chirico, Giacomo Balla, Giorgio Morandi, Alberto Giacometti, Lucio Fontana, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Francesco Clemente and Mimmo Paladino.

Further Biographical Context for Jorge Zontal (Jorg Saia)

Jorge Zontal (Jorg Saia) was born in 1944 and was predominantly influenced creatively by the 1960s. Artistically, the decade began with the twin movements of Pop and Minimalism emerging alongside each other. On one hand, Pop championed the visual culture of the mainstream and mass media, and of products and consumerism. Artwork by artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann and Claes Oldenberg was inspired by the popular culture of the rapidly developing Capitalism of the United States, using things like advertising, comic books and ideas surrounding celebrity culture as their main visual inspiration. A parallel movement was established on the West Coast in California - a strain that also related to language in art, and is viewed as the very first blossoming of conceptual art.

The 1960s were an explosive decade internationally, witnessing a great increase of modernist philosophies and trends. It was the era of Kennedy and Kruschev, and the start of the Cold War, which would endure for most of the second half of the 20th century, and was epitomised most symbolically by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The Iron Curtain divided Eastern and Western Europe, both ideologically and literally, and student political uprisings took place globally. Psychedelia, an massive increase in consumerism, and the associated trends of marketing and advertising further epitomised the era.

Minimalism developed a formal language with no external references, predicated solely on line, colour and geometric form as key elements of both painting and sculpture. The significant figures of Minimalism included Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin.

Colour Field painting, as practiced by Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler, further explored some of the expressive ideas of Abstract Expressionism, but stripped away much of the rhetoric, instead approaching a more rule-based approach to surface and colour that related this practice to Minimalism.

Pop Art was an influential offshoot of minimalism, a discipline that became renowned through the work of artists like Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley.

Globally, a number of artistic movements echoed the creative concerns of the above mentioned movements, often with regional fortes and nuance. In Italy, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni established Spatialism, and in Germany the Zero group under the leadership of Gunter Uecker adopted similar ideas. The influential school of Existentialist Philosophy was an important source of creativity for artists, with artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti becoming known worldwide for their idiosyncratic approaches to the human form and the anguish related to the human condition.

Jorge Zontal (Jorg Saia)

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