Further Biographical Context for Meng Xian’Ao
Meng Xian’Ao was born in 1931 and was largely inspired creatively by the 1950s growing up. In the Post-War period the lens of modernism was focused, in terms of internationally, on developments in New York City. The Second World War had brought many prominent artists to the city in exile from Europe, leading to a substantial pooling of talent and ideas. Important Europeans that came to New York and provided inspiration for American artists included Piet Mondrian, Josef Albers and Hans Hoffmann, who between them set the foundations for much of the United States’ explosive cultural growth in the decades thereafter. Key artists of the Abstract Expressionist Generation included Jackson Pollock (who innovated his famed drip, splatter and pour painting techniques), Willem de Kooning, Mark Rothko, Frank Kline, Barnett Newman, Clyfford Still and Adolph Gottlieb. It was a male dominated environment, but necessary reassessment of this period has underlined the contributions of female artists such as Lee Krasner, Joan Mitchell, and Louise Bourgeois, amongst others.