Further Biographical Context for Mali Morris
Born in 1945, Mali Morris was primarily influenced by the 1960s. The astronomical impact of the 1960s was truly astonishing across the globe. Illustrative of a time inspiring both faith and anger, the 1960s triggered an outburst of cutting-edge ideologies and movements, truly exciting and ground-breaking. Historically set in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly powerful impact globally, mainly defined by the Iron Curtain dividing Europe both physically and spiritually, and drastically marked by the construction 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 incredible escalation of mass consumerism also defined the era, generating new trends in marketing and advertising. Minimalism developed the crucial idea that art should subsist in its own reality, and not try to mimic the real world. Born of a desire to erase all pre-established notions about art, Minimalism turned into 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 delve into some of the most fundamental ideologies of Abstract Expressionism, while eliminating the emotional and highly personal aspect it would usually entail 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 distinctions 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 such as Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who strived to depict the raw human emotions often connected to reflections on death and the lingering anxiety of the meaninglessness of life.