Further Biographical Context for Ma Yuan
Born in 1959, Ma Yuan's creative work was largely influenced by the 1970s. Conceptualism is often perceived as a reaction to Minimalism, and the leading art movement of the 1970s, challenging the boundaries of art with its revolutionary features. The movements that succeeded were all characteristic of a strong desire to progress and strengthen the art world, in response to the tensions of the previous decade. Process art branched out from Conceptualism, highlighting some of its most essential aspects, but going further in creating mysterious and experimental artistic journeys, while Land Art brought creation to the outsides, initiating early philosophies of environmentalism. In Germany, Expressive figure painting was given a second chance for the first time since the weakening of Abstract Expressionism almost twenty years ago, the genre regained its distinction through the brushstrokes of Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. Most of the critically acclaimed artists from the 1960s, who had gained success and popularity, kept their status in the 1970s. Andy Warhol was a key figure of those two decades, and in the 1970s started to experiment with film and magazine publishing, thus engaging in a cross-platform activity that no other visual artist OF his standard had previously undertaken. By doing so, he secured his status as a celebrity. Street art started to appear as a true and accepted form of art towards the end of the 1970s. Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring were pioneers in demonstrating that their artworks could subsist at the same time in art galleries and in urban settings. Driven by graffiti art, street art from its earliest days showed that it could endure in a unceasing flux of self-transformation, endlessly shifting the boundaries of modern art, becoming a truly ground-breaking artistic genre.