William G. Beckman
Further Biographical Context for William G. Beckman
William G. Beckman was born in 1942 and was predominantly influenced creatively by the 1960s. Historically established in the context of the Cold War, the 1960s symbolize an extremely powerful era which generated a significant number of breaks and challenged the order of all things. In Europe, The Iron Curtain and the Berlin wall would permanently mark people and beliefs, while in the U.S, predicaments 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 ensued, with ground-breaking philosophies and movements evolving 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 composed of polished, pure lines and geometrical elements. The very first blossoming of Conceptualism was significantly influenced by the purity of Minimalism but went further in denying all pre-defined conceptions inherent to art, similarly to what Pop Artists were trying to achieve by elevating popular culture to the status of high art. Several schools of philosophy profoundly influenced creatives, Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti were artists fundamentally 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 initiated Spatialism, while in Germany, the Zero group espoused similar ideas under the leadership of Günther Uecker.