(Zagreb, 1959 – 1966/1968)

The Gorgona group, the Zagreb-based proto-conceptual collective, brought together several influential artists, art historians and critics – Josip Vaništa (1924 – 2018), Ivan Kožarić (1921 – 2020), Julije Knifer (1924 – 2004), Marijan Jevšovar (1922 – 1998), Đuro Seder (1927 – 2022), Miljenko Horvat (1935 – 2012), Radoslav Putar (1921 – 1994), Matko Meštrović (1933), and Dimitrije Bašičević-Mangelos (1921 – 1987).

The group’s activity, presented here through the works from the Marinko Sudac Collection, was based on the philosophy of existentialism, nihilism, the absurd and Zen Buddhism. Gorgona was a proto-conceptual group whose activities included rethinking and moving the boundaries of art, making them one of the essential groups in European art of the 1960s. A part of their practice, called Collective Work, included various conceptual tasks (written, executed or performed) following the legacy of Dada and then-contemporary currents of the French New Wave and Fluxus. Gorgona’s founder, Josip Vaništa, started in 1961 what is now known in art history as the “artist’s book “– the Gorgona anti-magazine (11 issues, 1961 – 1966). Each issue had its author – the group’s members or international collaborators (Victor Vasarely, Harold Pinter, Dieter Roth), and other artists contributed drafts for issues (Piero Manzoni, Enzo Mari). More collaborations were agreed on but not executed (Yves Klein, Lucio Fontana, Robert Rauschenberg, Marcel Duchamp, Hank Peeters). Alongside these activities, from 1961 to 1962, the Gorgona group ran one of the region’s most important independent art spaces – Studio G, in the “Šira picture-framing workshop” they rented in the centre of Zagreb. They presented 14 local and international artists’ exhibitions as solo and thematic presentations.