Further Biographical Context for Leo Adams
Born in 1942, Leo Adams was predominantly influenced by the 1960s growing up. In the art sphere, a multitude of significant changes were also taking place. Pop Art, adopting 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. Getting inspired from the imagery of popular culture and mass consumerism, the Pop Artists rejected the authority of highbrow art and created a cutting-edge movement, while Minimalism, simultaneously appearing, was rejecting any form of emotional manifestation and focused on art’s theoretical aspect – aspiring to pure visual responses. Simplicity and an void of emotions were key concepts in the highly influential movement of Minimalism, embodied by artists like Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Uninterested in the gestural elements of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalist artists focused on delivering artworks mainly composed of polished, clean lines and geometrical elements. The very first flourishing of Conceptualism was significantly influenced by the simplicity of Minimalism but went further in denying all pre-defined conceptions inherent to art, similarly to what Pop Artists were trying to attain, by uplifting popular culture to the status of high art. Several schools of philosophy profoundly influenced creatives, Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti were artists heavily seduced by the ideologies of Existentialism, who achieved worldwide success through their depiction of the human form and the anguish often linked to the human condition. globally, a significant number of art movements echoed 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.