Rafael Leonardo Black

1948 · United States

Artist biography

Rafael Leonardo Black is a contemporary artist considered well established, who originates from the United States. Rafael Leonardo Black was born in 1948. Also born in the United States around 1948 and of the same generation are Chuck Close, Dale Chihuly, Bruce Nauman, James Turrell and Barbara Kruger.

Rafael Leonardo Black's Gallery representation

Rafael Leonardo Black's work is on display at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art in New York, the United States.

Historical Context of United States

The US, especially New York city, endures as a central point that has played a significant role in developing modern and contemporary art in the twentieth century. The concept of New York as a new cosmopolitan and highly powerful art centre appeared in the post war era, and the city succeeded in asserting its supremacy over Paris, which used to be regarded as the most powerful international art centre. The authority of the political and economic structures of the United States in the modern sphere has granted the country with a powerful influence on the visual culture of the world. Abstract Expressionism, Pop Art, Minimalism, Conceptual Art, Neo-Expressionism, Graffiti and Street Art, are influential art movements that blossomed in the US. These very movements also echoed into a myriad of variations, such as alternative forms of Abstract Expressionism, as well as East and West Coast variants of Pop Art, among others. Some internationally acclaimed U.S artists of the contemporary period age include Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, Donald Judd, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, Julian Schnabel, Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring.

Further Biographical Context for Rafael Leonardo Black

Born in 1948, Rafael Leonardo Black was largely influenced by the 1960s. Historically established in the context of the Cold War, the 1960s symbolize an extremely powerful era which engendered a significant 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, events such as the Cuban missile crisis and Vietnam war would forever impact generations to come. From education to gender issues and ideologies, a re-definition of social standards in Western society followed, with revolutionary values and movements emerging in a cradle of inventiveness. Simplicity and an void of emotions were key concepts in the highly influential movement of Minimalism, represented by artists like Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Bored of the gestural elements of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalist artists focused on producing artworks mainly gathering polished, pure lines and geometrical elements. Delving further into some of the concepts inherent to Abstract Expressionism, artists such as Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler practiced Colour Field Painting – strongly relating to Minimalism, with an essentially ruled-based approach, devoid of any expressive aspect. Several schools of philosophy deeply influenced creatives, Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti were artists heavily seduced by the ideas of Existentialism, who achieved worldwide success through their depiction of the human form and the anguish often linked to the human condition. Internationally, a significant number of art movements resonated 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.

Rafael Leonardo Black

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