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ROLF ZIEGLER

Rolf Ziegler (b.1955-2020)

Rolf Ziegler was born in 1955 and was primarily inspired by the 1970s. The 1970s were a period of consolidation and growth in the arts, most often characterised as a response to the dominant tensions of the previous decade. Conceptual art developed as a influential movement, and was in part an evolution of and response to minimalism. Land Art took the artwork into the sprawling outdoors, taking creative production away from commodities and looking to engage with the earliest ideas of environmentalism. Process art combined elements of conceptualism with other formal considerations, creating esoteric and experimental bodies of work. Expressive figurative painting began to regain importance for the first time since the decline of Abstract Expressionism twenty years before, especially in Germany where Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer, Georg Baselitz became highly renowned figures worldwide. Many of the artists who became so famous and successful in the 1960s remained leading figures. For example, Andy Warhol branched out into film and magazine publishing, the first type of cross cultural activity for a visual artist. This secured his reputation as a globally renowned celebrity in his own right. New York maintained an influential position in the international art world, ensuring that international artists continued to flock to the galleries, bars and downtown scene in the city. Towards the end of the decade, the emerging practices of graffiti and street art were beginning to gain attention in the fine art community. Artists including Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat were working in downtown Manhattan and ensuring that spray paint and tagging gained some egitimacy as a fine art practice, a trend which would fully develop and dominate during the following decade. International movements began to gain importance included feminism, which translated strongly into the visual culture, and photorealism which had begun in the 1960s and enjoyed significant commercial and critical success. For the first time painters and sculptors from Latin America were embraced by the dominant critical and institutional levers in New York. The predominantly Italian Arte Povera Movement gained global recognition during the 1970s, with artists like Jannis Kounnelis, Mario Merz, and Michelangelo Pistoletto attaining worldwide praise. In Japan and Korea, artists associated with the Mono-Ha movement focused on encounters between natural and industrial materials such as stone, glass, cotton, sponge, wood, oil and water, arranging them in mostly unaltered, fleeting conditions. The works focused on the interplay between these various elements and the surrounding space, and had a strong focus upon the European philosophy of phenomenology.