Melissa Wren Miller
Further Biographical Context for Melissa Wren Miller
Born in 1951, Melissa Wren Miller's creative work was predominantly influenced by the 1970s. The 1970s were a period of consolidation and growth in the arts, most often characterised as a response to the dominant stresses of the previous decade. Conceptual art developed as a key movement, and was in part an evolution of and response to minimalism. Land Art took the works of art into the spacious outdoors, taking creative production away from commodities and engaging with the earliest ideas of environmentalism. Process art combined elements of conceptualism with other formal considerations, creating cryptic and experimental bodies of work. Expressive figurative painting began to regain prominence for the first time since the decline of Abstract Expressionism twenty years before, especially in Germany where Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz became highly respected figures worldwide. A number of the artists who gained fame and successful in the 1960s remained leading figures. For example, Andy Warhol branched out into film and magazine publishing, the first type of cross cultural activity for a visual artist. This secured his reputation as a major international celebrity in his own right. Towards the end of the 1970s, the emerging practices of graffiti and street art were beginning to gain attention in the fine art community. Artists including Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat were working in downtown Manhattan and ensuring that spray paint and tagging gained some validity as a fine art practice, a trend which would fully develop and dominate during the following decade.