Michael E. Barnard

1942

Artist biography

Michael E. Barnard is an established contemporary visual artist, Michael E. Barnard was born in 1942. Artists Vito Bucciarelli, Beat Bino Bühler, Jun Kaneko, Gerhard Beyer, and Gérard Bouilly are of the same generation.

Further Biographical Context for Michael E. Barnard

Michael E. Barnard was born in 1942 and was largely inspired by the 1960s growing up. Artistically, the decade began with the twin movements of Pop and Minimalism emerging parallel to each other. On one hand, Pop advocated the visual culture of the mainstream and mass media, and of products and consumerism. The work of art by artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann and Claes Oldenberg was inspired by the popular culture of the fast developing Capitalism of the United States, taking things like advertising, comic books and ideas surrounding celebrity culture as their main visual cues. A parallel movement developed on the West Coast in California - a strain that also related to language in art, and is viewed as the very first blossoming of conceptual art. Minimalism developed a formal language with no external references, predicated solely on line, colour and geometric form as key constituents of both painting and sculpture. The key figures of Minimalism included Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Colour Field painting, as practiced by Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler, further developed some of the expressive ideas of Abstract Expressionism, but stripped away much of the rhetoric, instead approaching a more rule-based approach to surface and colour that associated this practice with Minimalism. Around the world many artistic movements echoed the creative concerns of the above mentioned movements, often with regional fortes and nuance. In Italy, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni developed Spatialism, and in Germany the Zero group under the leadership of Gunter Uecker espoused similar ideas. The influential school of Existentialist Philosophy was an important source of inspiration for artists, with artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti becoming known worldwide for their distinctive approaches to the human form and the anguish related to the human condition.

Michael E. Barnard

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