1957 · Denmark
Historical Context of Denmark
As the southernmost of the Scandinavian countries, Denmark has often been rather influenced by the Germanic culture of Northern Europe, that borders its southern frontiers. This responsiveness is often mixed with the Nordic attributes of restraint and melancholy in its arts. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, and in the earlier part of the twentieth, Denmark originated a key painter of Post-Impressionism, Vilhelm Hammershøi. Acclaimed for his wistful and extremely scarce interiors, Hammershøi's reputation was founded on his exquisite representations of light and shadow in simple, dignified interiors, most often his own residence. In the later twentieth century, Denmark was a key country in the CoBrA movement of Expressionist painting, where the naming convention was derived from the cities of the founding members - the Co standing for Copenhagen on behalf of Danish artist Asger Jorn. Established in 1949, CoBrA's bright colours and vibrant childlike figures became both a scandal and sensation. Other critically acclaimed modern and Danish artists include Per Kirkeby, Olafur Eliasson, Danh Vō, Sergej Jensen and Tal R.
Further Biographical Context for Ken Denning
Ken Denning was born in 1957 and was largely influenced creatively by the 1970s. The art sphere of the 1970s was characterized by a wish to grow and strengthen itself, as a response to the many conflicts of the previous decade. One of the most important movement of the 1970s was Conceptualism, which appeared as an offshoot of Minimalism, while the experimental, creative journey of Process art emerged by combining essential aspects of Conceptualism with further reflections on art itself. The initial ideas of environmentalism sprung from Land Art, which took art into earth itself, sculpting the land and bringing art to the outdoors. For the first time since the regression of Abstract Expressionism, Expressive figure painting slowly resurfaced and regained its prominence, especially in Germany through the works of critically acclaimed figures Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. Most of the dominant artistic figures of the 1960s remained greatly influential and popular throughout the 1970s. Andy Warhol, for example, fortified his reputation as a legendary artist, by bifurcating into film and magazine publishing, thus introducing a ground-breaking concept of cross-cultural activity for a visual artist of such fame. Artists such as Jannis Kounnelis, Mario Merz, and Michelangelo Pistoletto attained worldwide success, as they were widely recognized as renowned members of the Italian movement Arte Povera, critically acclaimed in the 1970s.
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