Michael A. Smith

1942 · United States

Artist biography

Michael A. Smith is seen as an established artist, who originates from the United States. Michael A. Smith was born in 1942. Born in the same country and around the same year are Chuck Close, Robert Mappelthorpe, Bruce Nauman, Laurie Andersen and Barbara Kruger.

Michael A. Smith's Gallery representation

Michael A. Smith is represented and exhibited by Scott Nichols Gallery located in San Francisco, the United States.

Historical Context of United States

The United States has been a major country in the evolution of modern and contemporary art in the twentieth century, especially in the post war period, when the cultural importance of New York asserted its influence over Paris, previously considered as the most important art hub globally. Major art movements established and cultivated in significant ways throughout the United States include Abstract Expressionism in varied forms, Pop Art, including its West and East Coast variations, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, Neo-Expressionism, Graffiti and Street Art, plus various post-modern iterations of these many movements. In the modern and contemporary age, the United States has exercised a strong influence over the international visual culture, due to the hegemony of its economic and political systems. Key examples of world renowned U.S artists of the modern and contemporary era include Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Julian Schnabel, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.

Further Biographical Context for Michael A. Smith

Born in 1942, Michael A. Smith's creative work was predominantly influenced by the 1960s. Historically established in the context of the Cold War, the 1960s represent an extremely powerful era which generated an important number of disruptions and challenged the order of all things. In Europe, The Iron Curtain and the Berlin wall would permanently mark people and beliefs, while in the U.S, predicaments such as the Cuban missile crisis and Vietnam war would forever influence generations to come. From education to gender issues and ideologies, a re-definition of social standards in Western society followed, with ground-breaking philosophies and movements emerging in a cradle of innovation. Honesty and an emptiness of emotions were key concepts in the highly influential movement of Minimalism, embodied by artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Uninterested in the gestural elements of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalist artists focused on producing artworks mainly composed of polished, clean lines and geometrical elements. The very first flourishing of Conceptualism was significantly influenced by the simplicity of Minimalism but went further in denying all pre-defined conceptions inherent to art, similarly to what Pop Artists were trying to achieve by uplifting popular culture to the status of high art. Several schools of philosophy profoundly influenced creatives, Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti were artists heavily persuaded by the ideas of Existentialism, who achieved worldwide fame through their depiction of the human form and the lament often associated with the human condition. globally, a significant number of art movements resounded 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.

Michael A. Smith

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