Further Biographical Context for Peter Mitchell
Peter Mitchell was born in 1943 and was primarily inspired creatively by the 1960s. Historically established in the context of the Cold War, the 1960s symbolize an extremely influential era which generated an important number of disruptions and questioned the order of all things. In Europe, The Iron Curtain and the Berlin wall would eternally mark people and beliefs, while in the U.S, predicaments such as the Cuban missile crisis and Vietnam war would forever influence generations to come. From education to gender issues and ideologies, a re-definition of social standards in Western society followed, with ground-breaking philosophies and movements emerging in a cradle of innovation. 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 gathering polished, pure lines and geometrical elements. Digging further into some of the ideas inherent to Abstract Expressionism, artists like Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler practiced Colour Field Painting – decidedly relating to Minimalism, with an essentially ruled-based approach, emptied of any emotional features. Several schools of philosophy profoundly influenced creatives, Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti were artists fundamentally seduced by the ideas of Existentialism, who achieved worldwide success through their depiction of the human form and the anguish often associated with the human condition. Internationally, a significant 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 espoused similar ideas under the leadership of Günther Uecker.