1952 - 2006
Further Biographical Context for Paul Mason
Paul Mason was born in 1952 and was largely influenced creatively by the 1970s. The art sphere of the 1970s was characterized by a longing to evolve and reinforce itself, as a reaction to the many tensions of the previous decade. One of the most central movement of the 1970s was Conceptualism, which appeared as an offshoot of Minimalism, while the experimental, creative voyage of Process art emerged by combining essential elements of Conceptualism with further reflections on art itself. The initial ideas of environmentalism sprung from Land Art, which took art into earth itself, sculpting the land and bringing art to the outdoors. For the first time since the regression of Abstract Expressionism, Expressive figure painting slowly resurfaced and regained its prominence, predominantly in Germany through the works of critically acclaimed figures Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. The city of New York persisted as the most prominent artistic hub of the decade, with international artists drifting through the downtown scene, visiting bars and art galleries, strengthening the idea of New York City as a cosmopolitan and refined cultural capital. Reaching the end of the 1970s, street art, emerging from graffiti, was starting to truly captivate the fine art community. Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat helped legitimize spray painting and tagging, demonstrating that their artworks could exist at the same time in art galleries and on city walls. Following, the international reach of street art would become extremely significant, representing an astonishing form of artistic expression.