Further Biographical Context for Ma Bosheng
Born in 1942, Ma Bosheng was primarily influenced by the 1960s growing up. Artistically, the decade began with the twin movements of Pop and Minimalism emerging alongside each other. On one hand, Pop advocated the visual culture of the mainstream and mass media, and of products and consumerism. Artwork by artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann and Claes Oldenberg was inspired by the popular culture of the fast developing Capitalism of the United States, using things like advertising, comic books and ideas surrounding celebrity culture as their main visual cues. 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 initial developments of conceptual art. Minimalism developed a formal language with no external references, predicated solely on line, colour and geometric form as key constituents of both painting and sculpture. The main 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 developed some of the expressive notions of Abstract Expressionism, but removed much of the rhetoric, instead approaching a more rule-based approach to surface and colour that related this practice to Minimalism. Around the world many artistic movements resonated the creative concerns of the above mentioned movements, often with regional specialisms 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 creatives, with artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti achieving international prominence for their distinctive approaches to the human form and the angst related to the human condition.