Wendy Stavianos: Protection of the nest
Wendy Stavianos was born in 1941 and was primarily inspired by the 1960s. The universal impact of the 1960s was truly astonishing across the globe. Illustrative of a time inspiring both hope and anger, the 1960s prompted an explosion of cutting-edge philosophies and movements, truly exciting and ground-breaking. Historically set in the context of the Cold War, which would have a highly powerful impact globally, largely defined by the Iron Curtain separating Europe both physically and spiritually, and drastically marked by the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961. The 1960s re-defined all pre-existing expectations 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 significant boom of mass consumerism also defined the era, engendering 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 elements of what would be known as Conceptual art were developing. Minimalism established the crucial idea that art should exist in its own reality, and not try to mimic the real world. Born of a desire to obliterate all pre-established notions about art, Minimalism turned into a radically progressive movement, highly influential worldwide, with artists such as Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin as key figures. Minimalism became influential through the works of artists such as Victor Vasarely and Bridget Riley, while Pop art was an essential by-product of the latter, simultaneously critiquing and glorifying popular culture. Morris Louis, Kenneth Noland and Helen Frankenthaler were artists who sought to explore further some of the most fundamental philosophies of Abstract Expressionism, while eliminating the expressive and highly personal aspect it would usually entail with it. This led to the creation of Colour Field painting, deeply identifying with Minimalism. The iconic contemporary art movements that echoed through the wave of radicalism of the 1960s also had their own nuances and scopes, particular to different areas or countries. Spatialism, for instance, was founded in Italy by Lucio Fontana and Piero Manzoni, and its ideologies embraced by the Zero group in Germany. Throughout Europe, the philosophy of Existentialism strongly influenced artists such as Francis Bacon and Alberto Giacometti, who strived to portray the raw human emotions often connected to reflections on death and the lingering anxiety of the meaninglessness of life.
The Work of Art
Protection of the Nest is a black and white etching print created and published in 1992. It depicts a nest made from a natural circle in some wood that holds two eggs . The wood resembles a circling serpent. Wendy's works are believed to be less illustrative and personal and more towards universal themes and broad ideas. Her works are also known to be rich with symbolism.