Further Biographical Context for Neil Maurer
Neil Maurer was born in 1941 and was predominantly inspired creatively by the 1960s growing up. Art turned into a vehicle for ideologies and other agendas, with Pop and Minimalism appearing concurrently as the most significant art movements of the decade. Pop Art in New York city embraced the culture of mass media and mass consumerism, with Artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann getting inspired by television, comic strips, billboards and other products of the rise of Capitalism for their artworks. On the other side of the country, the West Coast in California, the first features of what would be known as Conceptual art were developing. Minimalism established the central idea that art should subsist in its own reality, and not try to represent the real world. Born of a desire to eradicate all pre-established notions about art, Minimalism became a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key actors. Minimalism became significant through the works of artists such as Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley, while Pop art was an essential by-product of the latter, simultaneously critiquing and glorifying popular culture. The iconic contemporary art movements that reverberated through the wave of radicalism of the 1960s also had their own distinctions and scopes, particular to different regions or countries. Spatialism, for example, was founded in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies adopted by the Zero group in Germany. Throughout Europe, the ideologies of Existentialism deeply influenced artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who strived to portray the raw human emotions often connected to reflections on death and the lingering angst of the meaninglessness of life.