Further Biographical Context for Paul Leal
Paul Leal was born in 1954 and was primarily inspired by the 1970s. Conceptualism is often perceived as a reaction to Minimalism, and the leading art movement of the 1970s, challenging the boundaries of art with its revolutionary features. The movements that ensued were all representative of a strong desire to evolve and consolidate the art world, in response to the tensions of the previous 1960s. Process art branched out from Conceptualism, featuring some of its most crucial aspects, but going further in creating mysterious and experimental artistic journeys, while Land Art brought creation to the outdoors, initiating early ideas of environmentalism. In Germany, Expressive figure painting was given another chance for the first time since the decline of Abstract Expressionism almost twenty years ago, the genre reclaimed its distinction through the brushstrokes of Gerhard Richter, Anselm Kiefer and Georg Baselitz. The cosmopolitan and sophisticated position that New York city held in the 1960s remained just as influential in the 1970s. With multiple international renowned artists gravitating the galleries and downtown scene, the city once again reinforced its reputation as the artistic hub of the generation. The majority of the critically acclaimed artists from the 1960s, who had gained success and fame, kept their status in the 1970s. Andy Warhol was a key figure of those two decades, and in the 1970s started to experiment with film and magazine publishing, thus engaging in a cross-cultural activity that no other visual artist OF his standard had previously undertaken. By doing so, he secured his status as a celebrity. Street art started to appear as a true and recognized form of art towards the end of the 1970s. Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring were pioneers in demonstrating that their artworks could exist at the same time in art galleries and on city walls. Fuelled by graffiti art, street art from its earliest days proved that it could endure in a perpetual flux of self-transformation, endlessly shifting the limits of modern art, becoming a truly ground-breaking artistic genre. Across the globe, various movements defined the 1970s. Amongst others, feminism and the innovative radical theories it entailed strongly influenced the visual culture. Photorealism, which had emerged in the 1960s, also gained critical and commercial success. The critical, prominent artistic pillars of New York city started to embrace painters and sculptors from Latin America. The critically engaged Mono-Ha movement, comprised of Japanese and Korean artists, blossomed in Tokyo in the 1970s. Discarding traditional ideas of representation, the artists favoured a depiction of the world through an engagement with materials and an examination of their properties. The artworks would often consist of encounters between natural and industrial materials such as stone, glass, cotton, sponge, wood, oil and water, mostly unchanged intact. The Arte Povera movement, which appeared in Italy, received international distinction in the 1970s, and leading figures such as Jannis Kounnelis, Mario Merz, and Michelangelo Pistoletto were praised.