Ješa Denegri, Radical Art Informel In Zagreb [ENGLISH]
04. srpanj 2018.

Radical Art Informel in Zagreb

Published in: Treći program Radio Beograda, Belgrade, Summer 1983

In contemporary European art, the concept of Art informel implies a complex which goes beyond one particular school, movement or ‘style’:  actually, that is a 'state of mind', characteristic of the situation in the early post-war years, when the atmosphere was transformed and gradually altered the whole complexion of the 1950s. Critics writing about these issues have perceived that the informel does not demonstrate the properties of the avant-garde movements from the first half of the [20th] century: the informel does not have the attributes of a project least of all, a programme that somehow envisaged the collective reconstruct of the collective basis for human existence. On the contrary, Art informel was is an exclusive  position of  confidence in the very ephemerality of individual existence, which,  having lost the ability to depend on the  traditional postulates of  European rationalism, had nothing left at Its disposal, but to assert its meaningfulness, as best it  could through the fortunes of each individual .

Argan wrote:

'Since the Bauhaus programme failed as an attempt to relate art to the bourgeois industry, and since the attempt to involve art in the class struggle failed with Socialist Realism, any art-society relation is no longer possible, unfortunately.'1

Thus, Argan looked upon Art informel as a symptom of a deep, historically conditioned, distrust of any further attempts to try and justify the  'purpose of art', which had been one of the constant traits of all art movements that claimed art had a social relevance. ‘There is no doubt', the same critic writes in another essay, 'that the informel contradicted the comprehensiveness of industrial design. The anti-ideological technicism of Art Informel piercingly indicated the anxious face of modern engineering science, its lack of system and purpose. That is why Art Informel spreads everywhere, why with each new day it finds new adherents: it is not a programme of action but a conclusion on the state of affairs, it is not a proposition for an individual’s integration into the society but the obviousness of his desperate loneliness within the society.'2

The question then arises: Which courses have been taken, as a result of these global processes, in relation to the prevailing conditions in Yugoslav art of the time? According to Matko Meštrović, it was evident that there was a group of artists who identified with the  inheritance of the  European rationalist avant-garde and, therefore, put forward a request for 'programmed cultural development'; however, the general conditions in which these artists  appeared and worked did not  offer a sufficient incentive for the implementation of the aspirations they proclaimed and the nucleus of their activity had, therefore, to be transposed into the  spiritual domain of art alone, rather than into a real-life milieu. Yet it is to these circumstances that EXAT-51 owed the fact that they were never able to turn into the mainstay attitude of 'technological deviation' that, in principle, threatened any programmatic invocation of the ties between art and material production. On the contrary: EXAT-51 basically represented an idealistic suggestion, that it was possible to include the artists of \ certain profile into the currents superimposed by the historical reality of the period of early post-war 'reconstruction that was going on, under the circumstances of accelerated industrialisation. But at the moment when planned 'reconstruction was overwhelmed by a series of general social restructurings, the ideological stance of EXAT-51 turned out to be a kind of utopia, and what was left to its members was a struggle for the practical implementation of the group’s ideas in the fields of their respective individual pursuits, which were diverse. In such circumstances, EXATists' painting output of paintings began to fit in with the diverse aspirations for autonomy of various other visual art tendencies in the Yugoslavia of the 1950’s. Like all other tendencies of the day, this painting idiom found way to public recognition through the solo exhibitions and group shows that were staged, from time to time. Namely, they did not appear in public under the constraints of some jointly designed projects and programmes, but clustered together solely on the basis of their individual orientations and injected their individual concerns and preoccupations into the existing cultural context.

The notion of art became related to the gesture and act of the individual, with all the attendant phenomena that shape and determine the destiny of the individual in contemporary society. Understandably enough, all those modes of individual articulation differed considerably from one another, in terms, not only of language, but of psychology and ideology; however, it is possible to identify and differentiate between different processes, in these different modes of articulation.

Returning for a moment to Argan’s previously mentioned remarks about the spiritual condition of Art informel, one cannot ignore the assumption that, in Yugoslavia’s situation – like that of other countries throughout Europe – it reflected the atmosphere which is referred to as  ‘alienation’ by modern sociologists and psychologists  in which the individual finds himself inside a seemingly stable reality, but is unable to steer the processes of that reality or to do anything about the sense of latent oppression that he feels in his daily life,. In such a situation, artists tended to react, by shutting out all incentives that come from the surrounding reality and plunge through an instinct of self-defence into the realms of its self-contained, internal issues. That is, artistic practices began to cope with the (im-)possibility of their own survival, on the border of all form-related conventions that had been checked and validated, right up to that time. This then developed into a situation characterised by the strikingly new, but deliberate non-communicativeness of contemporary painting, where a painting was a deliberate gesture on the part of its author and had indisputably authentic reasons for its existence and specific mode of articulation, yet instead of furnishing the artist with a link to the world, represented an organism that took pride in winning the utmost autonomy, and of living on the margins of society. In Art informel, of course, the non-communicativeness of the painting was not an uncontrolled agglomeration of bare material facts that were its constituent parts.  Quite to the contrary,  the work is the outcome of an  especially delicate and, basically, difficult operation which takes place at full speed, and with the greatest immediacy,  through the  direct handling of pure pictorial or, as likely as not, non-pictorial matter.

'If that matter,' – writes Argan – 'can be disassembled and disintegrated, brought to the original state of inarticulacy and existential confusion, it is still obvious that there is recognition of its structure, shape and history.'3

The advent of Art informel in Yugoslavia brought with it a multitude of different modes of articulation, from the pure, to the transitional, to the frankly hybrid. Different artists advocated different kinds of approach, depending, in part, on their ideological positioning of the existing artistic centres and on their own different attitudes to their artistic heritage.4 Within the context of the topic dealt with in this article, what appears to have been particularly indicative was the non-iconic solution of the informel, which most penetratingly raised the issue of its secession from the classical notion of the painting - In other words, the solution which, by its properties, came closest to the type of informel that   Michel Tapiè referred to, as 'Un art autre' ('another art'). Such were the views that could be  identified in a circle of artists working in Zagreb in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, whose re-evaluation revaluation was proposed by the exhibition, Informel 1956-196,  held at the Galerija Nova, in Zagreb,  in April 1977.5  As to the views of the participating artists (Ivo Gattin, Eugen Feller, Marijan Jevšovar, Vlado Kristl and Djuro Seder), they could be qualified through reference to the extremely non-iconic and non-semantic nature of Art informel, provided by Argan and Dorfles in their well-known, and frequently quoted writings on the subject.  The former states, for instance, that

'Informel aims at an artwork being wholly made of experience-in-an-act, without evocation of memories or efforts for the future: it is a pure act of existence, free from any intentionality and from any a posteriori reflexion'6 ,

while, according to the latter,

'Informel is that kind of art which is lacking not only in any will for, and any attempt at, figuration, but also in any signification-involving and semantic will'.7

Understandably, these critical insights do not preclude exempting from the general field of the informel the artistic positions of a number of individuals, such as  Dubuffet, in whose work one can perceive certain evocative, or even quite identifiable, figurative motifs; however, these critics tend to the conclusion that  it is the very denial of any references to the motif that is at the back of the image itself, and that this is basically one of the most difficult issues  to be tackled by the so-called 'other experience of Art informel.

As early as in 1961, while Art informel was in full swing, Radoslav Putar wrote about some adherents to the non-pictorial line that

'they do not "delineate" or "depict" but straightforwardly scoop up from a matter and put it onto the ground, or, more precisely: they merge it with the ground without anything from the arsenal of classical techniques on their min”8.

Somewhat later, Igor Zidić ascertained that

'concurrently with a new morphology, a new technology is gaining in strength; we can see that any homo novus will hardly assert himself unless he is ready to offer new technological solutions as well. Thus, painting art is beginning to revolutionize itself by revolutionizing the painting techniques, and its transformation into the essentially takes the form of a technological switch.9

The first, and the most radical, protagonist of this non-pictorial orientation in Yugoslav (Croatian) Art informel was Ivo Gattin. In the second half of 1956, he produced three paintings, using oil, varnish, wax and pigment, as matter (Smeđa masa ['Brown Mass'], Blokovi I ['Blocks I'], Crna vertikalna površina ['Black Vertical Surface']); in the course of  1957, the artist created eight paintings in a similar technique,  and in December of that year, e mounted an exhibition at Zagreb’s ULUH Gallery (the abbreviation standing for 'The Fine Artists’ Association of Croatia') which is nowadays regarded as an historic event, that was  instantly sensed by R. Putar as a new date in our artistic circumstances'10. Gattin was at that moment already aware that the path to a new conception of the painting inevitably led in the direction of a change in the means and techniques that the artist used, and the following statements testify to his awareness of this fact:

'The artist’s aim, the intimate contents of his oeuvre, has been innovated by the material. The way of handling the material has entirely assimilated with the intimate contents of the oeuvre...’ And, further: 'The fallacies which resulted in the passivity to the material should be removed, for one of the axioms of the painting art is that the painter exerts complete power over the material and his choice of one. If the material is an active element which influences the act of creation, it can be any material the painter can make subservient to his aim. If deep in ourselves we have suppressed the tradition-imposed attitude to the tone, colour and drawing, nothing is stopping us from suppressing the one to material, too.'11

It is noteworthy that Gattin arrived at these beliefs long before the experience of Art informel became the pet subject of numerous Yugoslav painters. Therefore, one may legitimately wonder what reliable information about (then) current artistic developments he had been able to secure. Gattin himself was working on the first of his informel paintings at the time, and he subsequently revealed in a conversation that he had been familiar with Prampolini’s polymaterial compositions and two of Burri’s black-and-white paintings, which he had seen at the 28th Venice Biennale, in 1956.12  It was only later, after he had written the abovementioned text and held the exhibition in Zagreb, that he gained some closer insight into examples of European Art informel.

While working on his paintings, not only did Gattin face the issue of the use of materials that were new at the time, but he realised that the fact of introducing these materials into his paintings conditioned an abandonment of ‘composition’, in favour of ‘structure’. This insight first took shape in his  1957 painting, Crna površina ('Black Surface'), and he continued with this practice throughout a series of paintings in 1959 and 1960, called  Plava površina ('Blue Surface'), Ljubičasta površina s plavim ('Violet Surface with Blue'),  Neizdiferencirana površina ('Undifferentiated Surface'), Crna površina sa pukotinama ('Black Surface with Cracks'), and others. In 1961, there was yet another major turning-point in his work, when he overran the rectangular ‘frame’ of his painting and turned the resulting configuration into a near amorphous lump of matter. Gattin reached this solution through the procedure of directly working on his materials (resin, wax, varnish and pigment) with a blow torch. In that way, he could not only achieve the chance metamorphoses of his surfaces, but would go on until the point at which the very support started to burn, so that this actually destroyed the homogeneous body of the painting, and all that remained from the original structure he had started out with were the hardened   pieces of the material, once everything had cooled down. Gattin would then fix and reinforce those pieces, so as to make them suitable for display. However, according to his personal testimony, what happened in a number of cases was the work process itself would take him to the point at which his handling of the blow torch would leave nothing of the support and the superimposed material, but a heap of ashes. Carried away by the immediacy of this procession method of working, and not by any philosophical or theoretical considerations on the  'death of the painting', Gattin carried on down his  predestined road, to the point at which he arrived, towards the end of  1961, at the ultimate point of a strikingly radical new position. this was the point of no return, where he had no option of returning to  aesthetic object of the painting, and, as he was aware in this situation, knew that the only logical choice that remained open to him was , quite responsibly and deliberately , to opt for ...  ‘silence’. From 1962onwrds, Gattin did indeed enter the realm of ‘silence’. He left Zagreb to live in Milan until 1970, and abstained altogether from exhibiting on a regular basis. It was only fully fifteen years after his last amorphous images that Gattin resumed a specific kind of painting, which refrained from utilising classical media with their obvious allusions to his experience, as a one-time adherent to  Art informel (e.g. in his Slagana i udarana površina ['Layered and Beaten Surface'], Crna površina u kojoj je bio zamotan kamen ['Black Surface Which Had Enwrapped a Stone'], Kleperom udarana površina  ['The Surface Beaten with a Rug Beater'] and others, from 1977).

Gattin’s example shows that radical, non-pictorial informel is a fully determinate stance to the concept of art and artistic behaviour, rather than a foundation on which it would be possible, gradually construct the various stages of a long-lasting ‘oeuvre’. Igor Zidić considers that Gattin’s works 'went deeper into the area of culture than that of painting art, cutting deeper yet living shorter; changing more than enduring'.13 It is true that, in penetrating into the area of culture, those works did not endure, in the sense of establishing founding a steady life-long career for an artist; however, they produced a residue in at least one part of the milieu’s consciousness, as a gesture indicating the need, cr5iticallyh to re-examining the existing notion of art. Having appeared in the medium of painting (or, in the phrase of the time, 'anti-painting'), those works – in their ultimate consequence – extended the very concept of painting, as a medium and, moreover, established the concept of ‘the other painting’, implied by the very nature of Art informel. Gattin, as an undisputed protagonist, was not quite alone in his view of non-pictorial informel:  other artists, who came close to his example, included Eugen Feller, Miljenko Horvat and Tomislav Hruškovec, whose biographies shared one interesting factor, in common - namely, that they had all entered the artistic fray, as autodidacts. Feller’s short-lived pursuit of the informel almost surpassed the radicalism of Gattin: his  Malampije cycle, displayed in January 1962 within his solo exhibition at Studio G, marked a climax in the  concrete materiality  sheer physicality of informel painting, made up of pastose, near-magmatic, accumulations of  silted-up plaster and pigment, soaked or thrown onto the raw support of jute and then burnt, so as to cause the emergence of an impenetrable black film on the surface of the mass. Feller’s technological interventions were the result of his friendship with Gattin (they both lived in Jurjevska Street), but he had been predisposed towards this form of expression by his own existential situation and current reading matter.14

Thus, it was owing not only to Gattin but also, to a similar extent, Feller, that Art informel in Zagreb boasted the component which was justifiably termed ‘another art’: every aesthetic consideration was abandoned at that point: painting was conceived and carried out as matter, in its pure state;  it was a physical reality, to which Argan’s remarks about  'absolute presence' and 'experience  through act with no evocation of the memories and no arguing for the future' were wholly applicable.15. Small wonder, then, that Feller ceased to practise this manner of working even earlier than Feller, in 1962. Shortly afterwards, he moved into a quite different area of working, yet this by no means called into question the truthfulness of his initial work. Miljenko Horvat exemplified a similar  short-lived involvement  in the field of Art informel and moved out of the area in a similar way: in contrast to Feller’s Malampije, his mixed media paintings, , produced between 1960 and 1962, reveal an almost introverted trait that was in keeping with the spirit of Gorgona, to which Horvat happened belong,  just at that time.

'In all likelihood', wrote Dubravko Horvatić, 'Gattin’s insistence on structural values, his use of new materials, his collages made up of discarded objects – all around the year 1956 – inspired many,  Hruškovec included'.16 The early Exhumations cycle, produced between 1959 and 1962, composed of strikingly small pieces and made by a technique of combining various residual materials (tar, sand, partly burned paper, textile, organic tissue and metal appliqués) was a kind of non-pictorial informel, with some hints of Neo-Dada here and there, additionally permeated with some literary subtexts.

Close to the non-pictorial informel of Gattin and Feller, in whose output painting was primarily a material fact and not a metaphorical, or symbolic, disguise. stood the informel of the members of the Gorgona Group – Marijan Jevšovar, Djuro Seder and Josip Vaništa, though this was more in spirit than in technique, as they differed in their handling of the non-iconic quality of their painting, through the use of pre oil paint, without the addition of concrete, or residual materials. The spiritual affinity is confirmed by natural of their direct exchanges, at a certain point:  in 1962, for Instance, Gattin prepared an unrealised project for the anti-magazine, Gorgona, while Feller’s exhibition at Studio G was organised on the initiative of the group’s membership. Whilst the informel of Gattin and Feller was manifested in their emphatic use of matter and tactile involvement, to the extent that matter became the  fundamental texture of their painting, the informel of the Gorgona Group was guided by their  intellectual reflection on the impossibility of continuing with the  idea of  a  ‘full’ or ‘beautiful’ painting, and it was this which conditioned their progressive withdrawal from textural concerns and led them straight into  a range of reductive procedures. These procedures, in turn, which were established with utterly different intentions, led them to the similar conclusions about the non-pictorial character of the painting, in Art informel. In aiming to perfect the  non-pictorial character of his painting, it was Jevšovar, of all the members of Gorgona, who came nearest to achieving the most striking reductions - especially, while working on his paintings, titled Crno, Sivo, Sivo sa crnim, ('Black, Grey, and Grey with Black'), where  he singled out just a few coats of matter in a relaxed position on a monochrome plane and he simultaneously executed his Siva površina ('Grey Surface'), a completely even plane, measuring 54 x 65 cm, which he had intermittently coated with paint , over  two years period (from1960 to 62), scrubbed and recoated, until he had effected what he thought to be adequate state of neutrality -  that is, a state which allowed for no additional intervention, since any such intervention could have made the image ‘full’, or ‘beautiful’,  or, on the other hand, reduced it to a discarded piece of canvas, covered with paint. 'My painting work is a negation of shape, smearing of the white surface of the canvas', claimed Jevšovar17, and that was obviously a view which corresponded with the intentions of Art informel, although at the base of this act of Jevšovar’s there was no personal need for an existential statement: this was a reflection on the non-possibility of painting or, more precisely,  on his own distrust in the possibility and, thereby, the social usefulness of a ‘beautiful’, and visually rich, painting.

Side by side with Jevšovar’s grey monochromes were Seder’s black monochromes, broken only here and there with a white accent or somewhat more pastose coating of matter that would often be applied by hand, leaving visible finger marks on the  on the surface. That was, in fact, one of the procedures that Seder resorted to, in his efforts to sidestep the routines of painting: he deliberately experimented with unpredictable techniques and took painting to the very limit, without ever abandoning it - and this was a paradoxical attitude that he shared in common with the other members of Gorgona, who all sought to pay as little attention as possible to the dictates of 'painterliness'. In one of his texts, produced at the end of this stage of Art informel, Seder described feeling an 'irresistible temptation of the limit-reaching potential of the painting art':

'All nameless, all emptied completely. One and only exciting vision of the painting: colourless panel, not white, not determinedly black, smokey-blurred, without ‘contents’, itself being the only reality... Something like a ‘total’ painting, impossible though, which could bear the full frustration and the full presentiment of the world...'18 

Looking further into the non-possibility of painting, Seder saw that Fontana had found a positive solution to the problem of the illusory 'screen', by taking the step of perforating the surface of his canvases. However, he himself gave up on any solution that offered away beyond the painting as an object and stuck to  the kind of borderline  painting, whose purpose he himself claimed was 'an attempt to depict objectless meditation'19. And, while Seder aimed at painting what he described as 'objectless meditation', Vaništa aimed to create painting that was a  meditation on his own previous attempts at the task of painting or on the  painting of other artists who were his kindred spirits. Vaništa’s route from Lanterna magica (1954) to the later Compositions was described by Igor Zidić as one of 'dissolution' of the ‘ingredients’ of those first paintings: 'The post-Cubist composition set crumbs and, as shapes vanish bit by bit, matter creeps up, ever more granular: coarse, shapeless grains, then grapelike formations, and, finally, dry and luminescent crust, 1961-1963'20 It was only the external features of Vaništa's painting In those years  – their coarseness and material shapelessness – that linked them to the informel . In essence, this exemplified painting, as a conscious reflection on other people’s painting, and the subject of Vaništa's reflection was actually the free organisation of the chromatic blots placed within a coloured field that was bordered with the silhouette of a figure, from Leo Junek's  celebrated 1940 painting, Crtač  ('The Draftsman'). The arguments in favour of this supposition are the following: first of all, the similarity between the coloured parts on the body of' 'The Draftsman’ and those on Vaništa’s painting; secondly, the fact that the heavy coatings of matter radiate the same kind of light; and, finally, It is easy to be reminded of the fact that, ever since Putar had emphasised the importance of this Junek painting by Junek, in his article 'Milestones under Grass'21  The Draftsman had occupied a special place in the consciousness of the future members of Gorgona and enjoyed  their high esteem. It is noteworthy that Vaništa himself was Junek’s biographer and admirer for many years, as has been confirmed by his recently published documentation, relating to this artist.22

In contrast, , when it comes to considering the  conceptual dimension to these artists’ work, Vlado Kristl, was someone who consciously set about breaking all the limits. He only ever belonged to the Art informel on a tentative basis, in much the same way as he had stood aside from the main thrust of EXAT-51's ideas, during his formal membership of that group, too. The paintings he produced after his return from Chile and displayed in a solo exhibition at the ULUH Gallery, in late 1959, were described by Putar as 'surfaces without strict formulas and without any formal forcefulness'. Putar went on to say:

'We shall find on them some very complicated compositions in which an extraordinarily broad range of shapes: amorphous blots partly imposed by technical ‘chance events’; dreamy ways and ramblings of lonely lines; uncertain quadrangles and imposing white squares. They are solid and heavy yet by no means stiffened.'23

In Kristl’s case, the seeming ambivalence about 'free' matter and the presence of the square forms does not affect the his fixity of  intention: his paintings in the cycle, Positives and Negatives are consistently non-iconic, and none of his interventions in the concrete material do anything to evoke the presence of an object - today, these  barren structures appear to us to be examples of his own reflections on the  nature of painting, carried out during the very act of painting. Colour was not needed for this purpose, so Kristl consciously opted for the polarity of black and white, with the result that this polarity – through rejecting all associations with anything organic –simply confirms the assumption that what we face here is a discourse on the internal mechanisms of painting, as art practice. Kristl demonstrated his abstinence from colour in a series of pure white paintings that were actually a prelude to surpassing Art Informel and embarking on the then topical issue of monochromatic painting (Monochrome Malerei was the title of the exhibition organised by Udo Kultermann in Leverkusen, in 1960). And that is the most appropriate context, for examining Kristl’s position, in the time that preceded the cycle, Variants and the Variable,  which – in his strikingly unorthodox manner – led him on to join the New Tendencies movement. It is his purposefully maintained position of marginality, which served to disguise his vital, but never uncritical contribution to the crucial events of the decade (EXAT-51 – Art Informel – New Tendencies), Kristl nowadays stands out as an emblematic figure in Yugoslav art, in whose work and conduct, all the most challenging issues of the time were reflected.


1      G. C. Argan, 'Kriza umetnosti kao ‘evropske nauke' (The Crisis of Art as a ‘European Science'), Treći program Radio Beograda, 33, II - 1977, p. 628.

2      G. C. Argan, 'Materija, tehnika i povijest u enformelu' ('Matter, Technique and History in Informel'), Croat translation of 'Materia, tecnica e storia nell’informale', published in Salvezza e cadita nell’arte moderna, Milano, 1964, Književnik, 1, Zagreb, 1961

3      G. C. Argan, op. cit., note 2.

4      Ješa Denegri, 'Kraj šeste decenije: enformel u Jugoslavij' ('End of the Sixth Decade: Art Informel in Yugoslavia', in  Jugoslovensko slikarstvo šeste decenije ('Yugoslav Painting Art of the Sixth Decade'), exhib. cat., Muzej savremene umetnosti, Belgrade, July-September 1980, pp. 125-143.

5      Enformel 1956-1962, Galerija Nova, Zagreb, March 1977.

6      G. C. Argan, op. cit., note 2.

7      Gillo Dorfles, chapter on 'L’informale', in the book, Ultime tendenze nell’ arte d’oggi, Ed. Feltrinelli, Milano, 1961.

8      Radoslav Putar, 'Nakon oslobođenja do danas ('Since the Liberation to the Present Day'), in 60 godina slikarstva i kiparstva u Hrvatskoj (60 Years of Painting and Sculpture in Croatia), exhib. cat., Zagreb, March, 1961.

9      I. Zidić, 'Apstrahiranje predmetnosti i oblici apstrakcije' ('Abstracting the Objectness and the Forms of Abstraction').
Život umjetnosti, 7-8, Zagreb, 1968.

10    R. Putar, 'Crne teme na izložbi Ive Gattina u Salonu ULUH-a u Zagrebu ('The Black Subjects in Ivo Gattin’s Exhibition at the ULUH Salon in Zagreb'), Narodni list, Zagreb, December 19, 1957.

11    Ivo Gattin, 'Novi materijal' ('New Material'), Umjetnost, 4-5, Zagreb, November-December 1957.

12    Alberto Burri’s paintings at the 28th Venice Biennale in 1956 were written about by R. Putar in his text, 'Susreti sa znanima i nepoznatima: Bilješke s biennala u Veneciji ('“Seeing the Renowned and the Unknown: Notes from Venice Biennale'), Čovjek i prostor, 53, Zagreb, Sept. 1, 1956, pp. 6-7: 'There is not a bit of romanticism in the bitter and pregnant vocabulary of Burri whose two canvases hang in that part of the showroom with the works of Italian non-figurative artists, leaving relatively the most serious impression; from his black-and-white compositions one can read the excitement of a robust spirit who does not pull back before any one thing reality offers to him. Char-black and whitewash white, the colour of Burri’s composition, is at the same time a dramatic clash and – through such collision – Falstaff’s guffaw.' There are testimonies on the working contacts between Gattin and Putar in that period, and what brought them together was the affinity for Burri’s painting art they shared in common.

13    Igor Zidić, op. cit.

14    As the artist himself said, the term ‘malampije’, used as the title for his cycle of informel paintings, came from a concept he read in Nathalie Sarraute’s fiction.

15    G. C. Argan, op. cit., note 2.

16    D. Horvatić, 'Slikarstvo Tomislava Hruškovca' ('The Painting Art of Tomislav Hruškovec'), Umetnost, 7, Belgrade,
July-September 1966.

17    Quotation from the writing by Nena Dimitrijević 's text in the catalogue for Marijan Jevšovar’s exhibition at Galerija Nova, Zagreb, September-October 1976.

18    Djuro Seder: 'Nemogućnost slike' ('The Non-Possibility of Painting'), Život umjetnosti, 13, Zagreb, 1971, pp. 78-79.

19    Quotation from Nena Dimitrijević, 'Gorgona – umjetnost kao način postojanja' ('Gorgona – Art as a Way to Be'_). In in the monograph, Gorgona, Dokumenti 1-2, Galerija suvremene umjetnosti, Zagreb, 1977.

20    I. Zidić, op. cit.

21    R. Putar, 'Međaši pod travom, Marginalije uz eksponate na izložbi Salon 54' ('Milestones under Grass: Marginalia along the Exhibits at the Salon 54 Show'), Čovjek i prostor, 4, Zagreb, April 1, 1954.

22    Leo Junek, biographical data and paintings selected by Josip Vaništa. Other contributions by K. Tompa, R. Putar; D. Kalajdžić, ed., 15 dana, 4-5, Zagreb, 1979.

23    R. Putar, 'Pozitivi i negativi Vlade Kristla' ('Vlado Kristl’s Positives and Negatives'), Čovjek i prostor, 93, Zagreb, December 1959.