Further Biographical Context for Willi Keller
Willi Keller was born in 1942 and was largely influenced creatively by the 1960s. Historically established in the context of the Cold War, the 1960s symbolize an extremely powerful era which engendered an important number of disruptions and challenged 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 influence generations to come. From education to gender issues and ideologies, a re-definition of social standards in Western society developed, 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, embodied by artists like Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Uninterested in the gestural elements of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalist artists focused on delivering artworks mainly composed of polished, pure lines and geometrical elements. The very first flourishing of Conceptualism was highly influenced by the simplicity of Minimalism but went further in rejecting all pre-defined conceptions inherent to art, similarly to what Pop Artists were trying to attain, by uplifting popular culture to the status of high art. Several schools of philosophy profoundly influenced creatives, Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti were artists heavily seduced by the ideas of Existentialism, who achieved worldwide fame through their depiction of the human form and the anguish often linked to the human condition. worldwide, 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 embraced similar ideas under the leadership of Günther Uecker.