Further Biographical Context for Ortwin Michl
Ortwin Michl was born in 1942 and was predominantly influenced creatively by the 1960s. In the art world, a multitude of powerful changes were also taking place. Pop Art, embodying the culture of mass media through the artworks of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann, was slowly breaking down the foundations on which the production and reception of art were built. Getting inspired from the imagery of popular culture and mass consumerism, the Pop Artists rejected the authority of highbrow art and created a ground-breaking movement, while Minimalism, simultaneously appearing, was rejecting any form of emotional expression and focused on art’s theoretical aspect – aiming for pure visual responses. Simplicity 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. Digging further into some of the concepts inherent to Abstract Expressionism, artists such as Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler practiced Colour Field Painting – decidedly relating to Minimalism, with an essentially ruled-based approach, devoid of any emotional features. Several schools of philosophy deeply influenced creatives, Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti were artists fundamentally seduced by the ideologies of Existentialism, who achieved worldwide success through their depiction of the human form and the anguish often associated with the human condition. globally, an important number of art movements echoed 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.