essay about authorbibliographyartist's influences
Ex Yugoslavia

Attila Csernik was born in 1941 in Topolya (Bačka Topola, Vojvodina, Serbia).

He is an artist and visual poet. 

He joined the Bosch+Bosch Group upon Szombathy’s invitation in 1973 and remained its member until 1976.

Following the completion of his secondary education at the Polytechnic School of Economics in Subotica in 1961, he graduated in art at the Teacher Training College of Subotica. In 1965 he enrolled at the Department of Art History of the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Belgrade, only to abort his studies and move to Montreal to study at the École des Beaux-Arts. In the same year, during his short stay in New York, he got acquainted with Pop Art and Neo-Dada. 

He worked as a graphic designer at the Forum Publishing House in Novi Sad from 1969 until 2002. His longest job at the company was typesetting the Képes Ifjúság weekly, which also circulated in Hungary. In the early '70s, he was moving in such progressive artists’ and intellectuals' circles in Novi Sad, which included the authors and editors of the Új Symposion journal and the creative community around the Kôd Group. From 1972, he collaborated with Bálint Szombathy on the assemblage-publication Mixed Up Underground

Illustrating books and journals, he developed a unique calligraphic technique that remains his hallmark to this day. He has authored many single or limited edition artist’s books. The most notable of his cinematic works is the 8 mm film O-pus (Novi Sad, 1972) made in collaboration with the cinematographer Imre Póth and Katalin Ladik.

The use of several media characterises his oeuvre, predominantly influenced by the world of printing. The spectrum of his works ranges from concrete and visual poetry through artist’s books and objects to photo performances and actions. All of his works are centred on letters and text, and their relation to the image and the body.

Text molecules and atoms extracted from calligraphic script have a central role in Csernik's oeuvre. From the early '70s, his works have featured the motif of writing on the body in various forms (with Katalin Ladik, writer Erzsébet Juhász and others). Csernik regards the course of stamping letters onto the body as a creative medium, and the work process develops into a peculiar photo performance. He has subsequently used this method on – mainly spherical – objects.