Gorgona

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Gorgona, Patrząc w niebo [Looking at the Sky], 1966. Happening, Zagreb.

The Gorgona Group (named after the mythological creature of Gorgon), was a Croatian avant-garde art group operating along the lines of anti-art in Zagreb between 1959 and 1966.

Its initiator was artist Josip Vaništa, while other members included painters Julije Knifer, Đuro Seder, and Marijan Jevšovar, sculptor Ivan Kožarić, architect Miljenko Horvat, and art theoreticians Matko Meštrović, Radoslav Putar, and Dimitrije Bašičević Mangelos.

Beside individual works linked to traditional techniques, the members proposed different concepts and forms of artistic communication, ran a gallery and published the anti-magazine Gorgona. In each issue they featured one artist's work. Works by the Gorgona Group are widely represented in a number of institutions in Croatia including, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb, the Filip Trade Collection and the Sudac Collection. Several years after the loosely organized group ended things, some of the original members formed the Group of Six Artists.

Magazine[edit]

From 1961 to 1966 Gorgona also published eleven issues of the "antimagazine" Gorgona. Unlike other art periodicals, it did not offer content such as scholarly essays or reproductions of art; instead, each issue was prepared as an original artwork by a single artist. Josip Vaništa, the group's founder, conceived the first issue, which consisted of the same photograph of an empty shop window reproduced on each of its nine pages; Julije Knifer designed the second issue, with a serpentine black-and-white geometric shape (which he called a "meander") printed on interior pages connected in a continuous loop, instead of bound. British playwright Harold Pinter turned Gorgona no. 8 into a literary issue, and Swiss artist Dieter Roth made original drawings for no. 9. Mangelos's proposal for an immaterial issue remains unrealized. (Source)

Exhibitions[edit]

  • 1961–1963, Gorgona exhibitions, Studio G (Šira Salon), Zagreb. [1]
  • 2010, Vienna [2]
  • more

Publications[edit]

  • Gorgona, 11 issues, Zagreb, 1961-66. An 'anti-magazine'. [3]

Catalogues[edit]

Literature[edit]

  • Nena Dimitrijević, "Gorgona Art as a Way of Existence" [1977], trans. Ann Borčić, in Primary Documents: A Sourcebook for Eastern and Central European Art since the 1950s, eds. Laura Hoptman and Tomáš Pospiszyl, MIT Press, 2002, pp 124-140. (Croatian)
  • Jesa Denegri, "Gorgona Group – Now and Then", post, New York: MoMA, 9 Jul 2013. (English)

Links[edit]