Further Biographical Context for René Metral
René Metral was born in 1959 and was largely influenced creatively by the 1970s. The art sphere of the 1970s was epitomized by a wish to grow and strengthen itself, as a reaction to the many conflicts of the previous decade. One of the most important movement of the 1970s was Conceptualism, which emerged as an offshoot of Minimalism, while the experimental, creative journey of Process art materialized 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 decline of Abstract Expressionism, Expressive figure painting slowly resurfaced and regained its status, particularly in Germany through the works of world renowned figures Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. The city of New York persisted as the most prominent artistic hub of the decade, with global artists wandering through the downtown scene, visiting bars and art galleries, consolidating the idea of New York City as a cosmopolitan and refined cultural capital. In the eastern part of the globe, Japanese and Korean artists who showed a strong interest in the European ideas of phenomenology, associated with the Mono-Ha movement, exploring and shifting the frontiers between natural and industrial materials. Using stone, glass, cotton, sponge, wood, oil and water, they intended to give life to artworks that would emphasize the ephemeral state of these various elements and their surroundings, playing with their interdependency.