Colorado Photographic Arts Center

Untitled

Nude frontal woman with hand behind her head.

Born in 1947, Alan Sortore's creative work was primarily inspired by the 1960s. The astronomical impact of the 1960s was truly sensational across the globe. Illustrative of a time inspiring both faith and anger, the 1960s prompted an explosion of new philosophies and movements, truly sensational and ground-breaking. Historically established in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly powerful impact globally, mainly defined by the Iron Curtain dividing Europe both physically and spiritually, and significantly marked by the erection of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The 1960s re-defined all pre-existing assumptions on gender, race and justice, questioned education as well as morality and selfhood – for instance through the civil rights movement and second wave of feminism, as well as student political uprisings. The incredible boom of mass consumerism also defined the era, generating new trends in marketing and advertising. Art turned into a vehicle for ideologies and other agendas, with Pop and Minimalism appearing concurrently as the most significant art movements of the decade. Pop Art in New York city embraced the culture of mass media and mass consumerism, with Artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Tom Wesselmann getting stimulated by television, comic strips, billboards and other products of the rise of Capitalism for their artworks. On the other side of the country, the West Coast in California, the first features of what would be known as Conceptual art were developing. Minimalism established the crucial idea that art should subsist in its own reality, and not try to represent the physical world. Born of a desire to eradicate all pre-established notions about art, Minimalism became a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key actors. Minimalism became influential through the works of artists such as Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley, while Pop art was a fundamental by-product of the latter, at the same time critiquing and glorifying popular culture. Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler were artists who sought to delve into some of the most fundamental ideologies of Abstract Expressionism, while eliminating the emotional and highly personal aspect it would often associated with it. This led to the creation of Colour Field painting, deeply relating to Minimalism. The iconic contemporary art movements that reverberated through the wave of radicalism of the 1960s also had their own distinctions and scopes, distinctive to different areas or countries. Spatialism, for example, was established in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies embraced by the Zero group in Germany. Across Europe, the ideologies of Existentialism strongly influenced artists like Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who sought to depict the raw human emotions often connected to reflections on death and the haunting angst of the meaninglessness of life.

  • Inventory Number: 186-229
  • Current Location: Box 41
  • Collections: Alan Sortore
 
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