Ken Matsubara

1949 · Japan

Artist biography

Ken Matsubara is regarded as a well established artist, who was born in Japan. Ken Matsubara was born in 1949. Born in the same country and around the same year are Kishio Suga and Hiroshi Sugimoto.

Ken Matsubara's Gallery representation

Ken Matsubara is represented by Mario Mauroner Contemporary Art Vienna in Austria.

Further Biographical Context for Ken Matsubara

Born in 1949, Ken Matsubara's creative work was largely influenced by the 1960s. Art turned into a vehicle for dogmas and other agendas, with Pop and Minimalism appearing simultaneously as the most defining art movements of the decade. Pop Art in New York city embraced the culture of mass media and mass consumerism, with Artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann getting stimulated by television, comic strips, billboards and other products of the rise of Capitalism for their artworks. On the other side of the country, the West Coast in California, the first features of what would be known as Conceptual art were developing.

The astronomical impact of the 1960s was truly astonishing across the globe. Representative of a time stirring both hope and anger, the 1960s triggered an explosion of cutting-edge philosophies and movements, truly exciting and ground-breaking. Historically established in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly powerful impact worldwide, largely defined by the Iron Curtain dividing Europe both physically and spiritually, and significantly marked by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The 1960s re-defined all pre-existing expectations on gender, race and justice, questioned education as well as morality and selfhood – for instance through the civil rights movement and second wave of feminism, as well as student political uprisings. The significant boom of mass consumerism also defined the era, generating new trends in marketing and advertising.

Minimalism established the central idea that art should subsist in its own reality, and not try to mimic the physical world. Born of a desire to erase all pre-established notions about art, Minimalism turned into a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key actors.

Minimalism became influential through the works of artists such as Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley, while Pop art was a fundamental by-product of the latter, at the same time critiquing and glorifying popular culture.

Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler were artists who sought to delve into some of the most fundamental ideologies of Abstract Expressionism, while eliminating the emotional and highly personal aspect it would usually entail with it. This led to the creation of Colour Field painting, deeply identifying with Minimalism.

The iconic contemporary art movements that reverberated through the wave of radicalism of the 1960s also had their own nuances and scopes, distinctive to different areas or countries. Spatialism, for example, was established in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies embraced by the Zero group in Germany. Across Europe, the philosophy of Existentialism strongly influenced artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who strived to portray the raw human emotions often connected to reflections on death and the lingering angst of the meaninglessness of life.

Ken Matsubara

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