Artists

back
Július Koller

From around 1960, in response to the modernist mainstream in Slovak art, Július Koller began to develop his aesthetic position of the “anti-happening.” Like the postwar avant-gardes with their critique of Modernism, Koller wanted to oppose the cynical, technophile fantasies of omnipotence harbored by the Socialist state apparatus by giving a direct experience of the reality of the artwork back to the individual. Taking this idea as his point of departure, he continued to work on an oeuvre whose compelling and peculiar nature make it one of the most incomparable and rigorous in contemporary European art.

His strategy consisted in using real objects and everyday life as the predefined program for an aesthetic operation: from 1965, in texts rubberstamped on paper that refer to the context of the “anti-happening,” and then in 1967/1968 in pictures for which Koller used white latex paint instead of oils and which saw the first appearance of the question mark – the symbol of Koller’s brands of naming, or “making known,” that was later to undergo many mutations in various media and states of aggregation. From 1968/1969, these “anti-pictures” also took the form of one particular variation: as Textextily, text images on textiles.

The “invitation cards for an idea”–as Koller called the text works relating to the “anti-happenings”–and the palimpsests and serial arrangements of the “anti-pictures” set themselves apart from the academicism of Modernism in more than just formal terms. Koller forwent every form of technical mastery. The “anti-pictures” are amateurish in style, ensuring that they fulfill their task, defined by Koller as “engaging rather than arranging.”

In 1970, two years after the dreams of a possible third way for Socialism in Czechoslovakia had been crushed by the tanks of the Warsaw Pact, Koller introduced a new conceptual field into his work denoted by three letters: “U.F.O. - Universal Cultural Futurological Operations.” Over more than 30 years, Koller then created the complex of the same name that is his chef-d’oeuvre.

 

G.S.

1939, Piešťany / SK, at that time ČSSR – 2007, Bratislava / SK

 

Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
Works
Browse All




  • Photo: Adam Sakovy
  • Photo: Adam Sakovy





  • Photo: Adam Sakovy
  • Photo: Adam Sakovy
  • Photo: Adam Sakovy
  • Photo: Adam Sakovy
  • Photo: Adam Sakovy
  • Photo: Adam Sakovy
  • Photo: Adam Sakovy
  • Photo: Adam Sakovy
  • Photo: Adam Sakovy
  • Photo: Adam Sakovy
  • Photo: Květoslava Fulierová








  • Photo: Milan Sirkovský
  • Photo: Milan Sirkovský
  • Photo: Milan Sirkovský










  • Photo: Milan Sirkovský

  • Photo: Milan Sirkovský
  • Photo: Milan Sirkovský





  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Sakovy

  • Photo: Adam Sakovy
  • Photo: Adam Sakovy
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky




  • Photo: Adam Savoky














  • Photo: Milan Sirkovský
  • Photo: Milan Sirkovský





  • Photo: Adam Sakovy
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky
  • Photo: Adam Savoky