(Zagreb, 1924 – 2010)

Aleksandar Srnec was a painter, sculptor, designer, and experimental filmmaker. He was a founding member of the EXAT 51 group.

In 1943 he enrolled in the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb. After World War II, he spent a year at the Faculty of Architecture in Zagreb, and in 1947, he continued his studies at the Academy, which he forever left in 1949. From 1948 to 1951, he worked with Vjenceslav Richter and Ivan Picelj on Yugoslavian exhibitions and pavilions at fairs in the country and abroad.

In 1950, he was one of the founders of the EXAT 51 group. EXAT 51 (Experimental Studio) was an artistic group of architects and painters that operated in Zagreb from 1950 to 1956. The members of the group were architects Bernardo Bernardi, Zdravko Bregovac, Zvonimir Radić, Božidar Rašica, Vjenceslav Richter, Vladimir Zarahović and painters Vlado Kristl, Ivan Picelj and Aleksandar Srnec. Their Manifesto (1951) proclaimed a synthesis of art, architecture and design that was supposed to improve the practice of everyday life. It promoted socially engaged art inspired by constructivism, De Stijl and Bauhaus, in an effort to replace the ruling dogma of socialist realism with a modernist synthesis that should encompass the whole of life.

The first exhibition of EXAT 51 was held in 1953 at the Society of Croatian Architects and represented an event that marked a definite break with social realism in Yugoslavia.

From the late 1950s to the late seventies, Srnec made numerous achievements in graphic design and visual communication (book design, posters for various events, visuals and other achievements in the field of mass public communication).

In 1950, he created his abstract drawing of Lines, a key piece of artist Srnec’s creativity. The first relief in painted wood he made at the end of the 1950s, and soon (since 1960), they were created with aluminium, metal and plexiglass. Since 1955, he intensified his work in collage. From 1959 to 1960, Srnec made animated films as an associate of the Zagreb School of Animated Film.

The experience of working with the new medium inspired Srnec to explore the possibilities of light movements, and since 1962, he has dedicated himself to lumino-kinetic research. Among other achievements, he made the first lumino-kinetic object/environment in Croatian art.