Further Biographical Context for Laszlo Mehes
Laszlo Mehes was born in 1944 and was primarily influenced by the 1960s growing up. The astronomical impact of the 1960s was truly astonishing across the globe. Representative of a time inspiring both faith and anger, the 1960s triggered an explosion of new philosophies and movements, truly exciting and spectacular. Historically established in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly influential impact internationally, mainly defined by the Iron Curtain separating Europe both physically and spiritually, and drastically marked by the erection 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 real world. Born of a desire to obliterate all pre-established conceptions about art, Minimalism became a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key actors. Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler were artists who sought to explore further some of the most fundamental philosophies of Abstract Expressionism, while eliminating the expressive and highly personal aspect it would often associated with it. This led to the creation of Colour Field painting, deeply relating to 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 founded in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies adopted by the Zero group in Germany. Throughout Europe, the philosophy of Existentialism deeply influenced artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who strived to portray the raw human emotions often associated with reflections on death and the haunting angst of the meaninglessness of life.