Further Biographical Context for María Mendiolea
Born in 1944, María Mendiolea grew up during the 1960s and was inspired by the artistic culture of the time. In the art sphere, a multitude of significant changes were also taking place. Pop Art, embodying the culture of mass media through the artworks of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann, was gradually breaking down the foundations on which the creation and reception of art were built. Drawing from the imagery of popular culture and mass consumerism, the Pop Artists refuted 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 – aiming for pure visual responses. Simplicity and an emptiness of emotions were key concepts in the highly influential movement of Minimalism, represented by artists like Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Bored of the gestural elements of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalist artists focused on producing artworks mainly gathering polished, clean lines and geometrical elements. The very first flourishing of Conceptualism was significantly influenced by the simplicity of Minimalism but went further in rejecting all pre-defined conceptions inherent to art, similarly to what Pop Artists were trying to attain, by elevating 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 created Spatialism, while in Germany, the Zero group adopted similar ideas under the leadership of Günther Uecker.