William Harold Barber

1940

Artist biography

William Harold Barber is a contemporary artist considered well established, William Harold Barber was born in 1940. Artists born in the same year and of the same generation are Gianpaolo Berto, Rafael Basterra, Jairo Arcoverde, Joe Blatchford, and Ágnes Brokés.

Further Biographical Context for William Harold Barber

Born in 1940, William Harold Barber was largely influenced by the 1960s growing up. Historically set in the context of the Cold War, the 1960s epitomize an extremely powerful era which engendered 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 impact generations to come. From education to gender issues and ideologies, a re-definition of social standards in Western society followed, with revolutionary values and movements emerging in a cradle of inventiveness. Honesty and an emptiness of emotions were key concepts in the highly influential movement of Minimalism, represented by artists like Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Agnes Martin. Uninterested in the gestural elements of Abstract Expressionism, Minimalist artists focused on producing artworks mainly gathering polished, clean lines and geometrical elements. The very first flourishing of Conceptualism was significantly influenced by the purity of Minimalism but went further in denying all pre-existing 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 deeply 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, an important number of art movements echoed 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 embraced similar ideas under the leadership of Günther Uecker.