Further Biographical Context for Polly Mccaffrey
Polly Mccaffrey was born in 1944 and was largely influenced by the 1960s. The 1960s were a sensational decade internationally, bearing witness to great increase of modernist ideas and trends. It was the era of Kennedy and Kruschev, and the beginning of the Cold War, which would endure for most of the second half of the 20th century, and was characterised most symbolically by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The Iron Curtain divided Eastern and Western Europe, both ideologically and literally, and student political uprisings took place around the world. Psychedelia, an vast increase in consumerism, and the associated trends of marketing and advertising further defined the era. Minimalism developed a formal language with no external references, predicated 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 powerful 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 previously mentioned movements, often with regional fortes 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 inspiration for artists, with artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti achieving international prominence for their distinctive approaches to the human form and the anguish related to the human condition.