Further Biographical Context for Suzan Kraning
Suzan Kraning was born in 1943 and was largely influenced creatively by the 1960s growing up. Artistically, the decade began with the twin movements of Pop and Minimalism emerging at a similar time. On one hand, Pop advocated the visual culture of the mainstream and mass media, and of products and consumerism. The work of art by artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselmann and Claes Oldenberg was inspired by the popular culture of the fast developing Capitalism of the United States, taking things like advertising, comic books and ideas surrounding celebrity culture as their primary visual inspiration. A parallel movement was established on the West Coast in California - a strain that also related to language in art, and is viewed as the initial developments of conceptual art. Minimalism developed a formal language with no external references, predicated solely on line, colour and geometric form as key elements of both painting and sculpture. The significant figures of Minimalism included Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Colour Field painting, as practiced by Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler, further developed some of the expressive ideas of Abstract Expressionism, but stripped away much of the rhetoric, instead approaching a more rule-based approach to surface and colour that related this practice to Minimalism. Globally, a number of artistic movements resonated the artistic concerns of the above mentioned movements, often with regional specialisms and nuance. In Italy, Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni developed Spatialism, and in Germany the Zero group under the leadership of Gunter Uecker espoused 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 idiosyncratic approaches to the human form and the angst related to the human condition.