1942 - 1978
Further Biographical Context for Thomas Arge
Born in 1942, Thomas Arge's creative work was largely inspired by the 1960s. The astronomical impact of the 1960s was truly sensational across the globe. Evocative of a time inspiring both hope and anger, the 1960s prompted an outburst of cutting-edge ideologies and movements, truly exciting and ground-breaking. Historically set in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly powerful impact worldwide, mainly defined by the Iron Curtain separating Europe both physically and spiritually, and significantly marked by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The 1960s re-defined all pre-existing expectations on gender, race and justice, questioned education as well as morality and selfhood – for instance through the civil rights movement and second wave of feminism, as well as student political uprisings. The significant boom of mass consumerism also defined the era, generating new trends in marketing and advertising. Minimalism developed the central idea that art should subsist in its own reality, and not try to represent the physical world. Born of a desire to obliterate all pre-established notions about art, Minimalism turned into a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key figures. Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler were artists who sought to explore further some of the most fundamental ideologies of Abstract Expressionism, while eliminating the emotional and highly personal aspect it would usually entail with it. This led to the creation of Colour Field painting, deeply identifying with Minimalism. The iconic contemporary art movements that reverberated through the wave of radicalism of the 1960s also had their own nuances and scopes, particular to different regions or countries. Spatialism, for instance, was established in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies embraced by the Zero group in Germany. Throughout Europe, the ideologies of Existentialism deeply influenced artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who sought to portray the raw human emotions often associated with reflections on death and the lingering angst of the meaninglessness of life.