Further Biographical Context for Michael Mccarthy
Michael Mccarthy was born in 1940 and was predominantly influenced by the 1960s. Artistically, the decade began with the twin movements of Pop and Minimalism emerging alongside each other. On one hand, Pop espoused the visual culture of the mainstream and mass media, and of products and consumerism. Artwork 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, using things like advertising, comic books and ideas surrounding celebrity culture as their primary visual inspiration. A parallel movement was established on the West Coast in California - a strain that also related to language in art, and is viewed as the very first flowerings of conceptual art. Minimalism developed a formal language with no external references, focused solely on line, colour and geometric form as key constituents of both painting and sculpture. The significant figures of Minimalism included Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Pop Art was a prominent offshoot of minimalism, a discipline that became renowned through the work of artists like Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley. Globally, many artistic movements resonated the artistic concerns of the above mentioned movements, often with regional specialisms and nuance. In Italy, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni developed Spatialism, and in Germany the Zero group under the leadership of Gunter Uecker adopted similar ideas. The influential school of Existentialist Philosophy was an important source of creativity for artists, with artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti becoming known worldwide for their distinguishing approaches to the human form and the anguish related to the human condition.