Arts and engineering groups and collectives in CEE

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Groups and collectives

Exat 51

  • 1950-56, Zagreb. The group was formed at the plenary meeting of the Association of Applied Artists of Croatia, at which they proclaimed their manifesto: to protest against the dominance of officially sanctioned Socialist Realism and the condemnation of all forms of abstraction and motifs unacceptable in Communist doctrine as decadent and bourgeois. Exat-51 emphasized that such an attitude contradicted the principles of Socialist development, that the differences between so-called 'pure' art and 'applied' art were non-existent and that abstract art could enrich the field of visual communication. The activity of the group was therefore to spring from the existing social situation and, as such, to contribute to the progress of society. The principal intention was to attain a synthesis of all branches of the fine arts and to encourage artistic experimentation.
  • Its members were the architects Bernardo Bernardi (1912-85), Zdravko Bregovac (b 1924), Zvonimir Radić (1921-83), Bozidar Rašica (1912-92), Vjenceslav Richter (b 1917) and Vladimir Zarahović, and the painters Vlado Kristl (b 1922), Ivan Picelj (b 1924) and Aleksandar Srnec (b 1924).
  • Works. Examples of works = ??. First exhibition: at the Hall of the Architects' Society of Croatia (Zagreb, 1953).
  • International context. Many similar tendencies and artistic attempts were happening in Europe. One can mention here just slightly earlier movements in Italy, such as Forma Uno (Rome, 1947), Movimento arte concreta (Milan, 1948), Arte d'oggy (Florence 1950), with whom the members of Exat 51 had no contact whatsoever. More direct parallels might be drawn between group Espace, formed in 1951 that under intellectual guidance of Le Corbusier promoted the idea of synthesis of arts, but Exat 51 came to know its activity only in 1952 when they exhibited at Salon des Realites Nouvelles in Paris, manifestation that promoted abstract art.
  • Existing publications. Catalogue edited by Marijan Susovski was published in 2001, PDF = ??

New Tendencies

Open Form

  • Poland, 1950s-70s


  • Moscow, 1962/64-1976


  • Russia, early 1970s

Kinema Ikon

  • Arad 1970-2005

Theremin Center

  • Moscow *1992


  • Denes, *1953. Based on the concept of the ‘synthesis of arts’ this group established a specific role of the art: to incorporate several art-disciplines (painting, sculpture, and graphic print) with the architecture.
  • avant-garde group OHO in Ljubljana, 1960s and early 1970s. used drawings, photographs, film, video, music, texts, also the way of dressing, living and behaviour.
  • Free experiments with mixed media were part and parcel of the poetry of the so-called Group of Six Artists who mixed media such as photography, film, and photocopy in the form of visual art, art books and (street) performance. Active in Croatia.
  • Vladimir Petek set up in 1971 the FAVIT art association (film-audiovisual research - television) and created a series of multimedia works with a number of collaborators, mostly multivision (multi-channel video, film and slide projections), and realized ten computer movies with Tomislav Mikulic in 1976.
  • In the late 1980s in Croatia, the Nova Evropa (NEP, founded by Dejan Krsic) group, Studio imitacija zivota (SIZ; Darko Fritz and Zeljko Serdarevic), Grainer and Kropilak and the Katedrala project displayed artistic activity carried out under a collective authorship (in the Katedrala project a computer programmer has been included as a full-fledged author). The above-mentioned used the media as their basic material (reproductive, electronic, digital and mass media) and inaugurated sampling/cut-up/quotation/recycling as an expression without specific stylistic characteristics, i.e. the rejection of the idea about the original. The medium of photocopy in the pre-Photoshop aesthetics of the 1980s (in the wake of experiences of copy art of the 1970s) was the prime graphic tool. In the case of SIZ and NEP more indicative were their media projects than the produced objects. NEP inaugurated a new understanding of equaling politics and art, not just by ³borrowing² from political rhetoric but also by using it on an equal footing, in the spirit of post-modernist theories. In 1988, SIZ thrice opened an exhibition (of graphics) using three manners of opening: live broadcast over the radio, by a spoken word of an art historian, and by textual print-outs of interviews. In 1990, SIZ stopped working after having completed a three-year production and distribution (corporative) plan. The Katedrala project (Bakal, Fritz, Juzbasic, Marusic, Premec; 1988) took place on the anniversary of death of Andy Warhol and called for a transformation of image to sound of a Mussorgsky composition and the sound into a space performance of Kandinsky. It was a space generated by a computer using joint sound, light, and video elements set in motion through the movement of the audience and the signals of an EEC connected to the performer, Joska Lesaj, the opera signer.
  • Sigma, 1970-1978, Timisoara, work based on the principle of team and interdisciplinary work (mathematics, cybernetics, bionics, but also plastic structures).
  • SubREAL, *1990, Bucharest
Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • late 1980s in Poland: Yach-Film group: Yach Paszkiewicz, Dorota Podlaska, Bombela Kuich, Andrzej Kuich, Andrzej Wasik. Worked on the border of film and video. Their distinguishing features included a domination of expression over reflection and of spontaneous creativity bordering on pure play (playfulness seemed an essential feature of this current) over meditation, and an abandonment of all interest in theoretical problems. These artists treated the electronic media much more freely than did their predecessors. Paszkiewicz was shooting on Super 8 film and transferring onto magnetic tape. In his case relationship between video and music was evident. His subsequent accession to the world of music videos appears in retrospect to have been a consequence of creative choices made earlier.



  • Martin Šperka, "The Origins of Computer Graphics in the Czech and Slovak Republics", Leonardo, Vol. 27, No. 1 (1994), pp. 45-50 [1]
  • Jarmila Doubravová, "Music and Visual Art: Their Relation as a Topical Problem of the Contemporary Music in Czechoslovakia", International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Dec., 1980), pp. 219-228 [2]
  • Zdeněk Sýkora, Jaroslav Blažek, "Computer-Aided Multi-Element Geometrical Abstract Paintings", Leonardo, Vol. 3, No. 4 (Oct., 1970), pp. 409-413 [3]
  • Libor Zajíček, "The History of Electroacoustic Music in the Czech and Slovak Republics", Leonardo Music Journal, Vol. 5, (1995), pp. 39-48 [4]
  • Jarmila Doubravová, Hudba a výtvarné umění, Prague: Academia, 1982