Further Biographical Context for Xavier Esqueda
Born in 1943, Xavier Esqueda was largely influenced by the 1960s growing up. The 1960s were a sensational decade internationally, witnessing a proliferation of modernist philosophies and trends. It was the era of Kennedy and Kruschev, and the start of the Cold War, which would endure for most of the second half of the 20th century, and was characterised most symbolically by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The Iron Curtain divided Eastern and Western Europe, both ideologically and literally, and student political uprisings took place around the world. Psychedelia, an massive increase in consumerism, and the associated trends of marketing and advertising further epitomised the era. Minimalism developed a formal language with no external references, focused solely on line, colour and geometric form as key components of both painting and sculpture. The main 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 explored 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 fortes 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 creativity for creatives, with artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti achieving international prominence for their distinguishing approaches to the human form and the angst related to the human condition.