Further Biographical Context for Ma Xinlin
Ma Xinlin was born in 1956 and grew up during the 1970s and was influenced by the artistic culture of the time. 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 materialized by combining essential features of Conceptualism with further considerations on art itself. The initial ideas of environmentalism sprung from Land Art, which took art into earth itself, carving the land and bringing art to the outdoors. For the first time since the regression of Abstract Expressionism, Expressive figure painting slowly re-emerged and regained its status, particularly 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 highly influential and popular throughout the 1970s. Andy Warhol, for instance, fortified his status as a legendary artist, by branching out into film and magazine publishing, thus introducing a ground-breaking concept of cross-cultural activity for a visual artist of such fame. Towards the end of the 1970s, street art, developing from graffiti, was starting to truly fascinate the fine art community. Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat helped legitimize spray painting and tagging, proving that their artworks could subsist at the same time in art galleries and in urban settings. Following, the global reach of street art would become extremely significant, representing an astonishing form of artistic expression.