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New Art Practice – Digitizing Ideas

The term new art practice denotes the activity of a younger generation of artists from the territory of former Yugoslavia, who were active from the late 1960s. The most prominent features of this “practice” were using new media, such as photography, video, performance, actions, ambiences, spatial interventions, and installations, as a means of expression and exploration, as well as a critical stance towards reality, questioning the very idea of art and emphasizing the need of its social engagement.

In 1978, an exhibition called New Art Practice 1966 – 1978 took place at the Gallery of Contemporary Art Zagreb, determining the time frame and giving a name to this new model of art. The exhibition presented artworks by young artists from Ljubljana, Zagreb, Novi Sad, Belgrade, and other places where the emerging artistic activity marked a turn away from the traditional understanding of artwork.

The era of new art practice in Croatia was most significantly marked by the individual exhibitions, group actions, and urban interventions of Goran Trbuljak and Braco Dimitrijević (“Pensioner Tihomir Simčić Group), Boris Bućan, Gorki Žuvela, Dalibor Martinis, Josip Stošić, Tomislav Gotovac, Sanja Iveković, Ladislav Galeta, Group of Six Authors (Vlado Martek, Željko Jerman, Boris Demur, Mladen Stilinović, Sven Stilinović, Fedor Vučemilović), Tok Group (Vladimir Gudac, Dubravko Budić, Davor Lončarić, Ivo Šimunović, Gustav Zechel, Darko Zubčević), and others.

The characteristic elements of engaged art embodied in the new art practice were collective action and focus on certain galleries as the meeting points of artists and art critics. The most important such galleries were Student Centre Gallery in Zagreb, Gallery of Contemporary Art, Nova Gallery, and Centre for Multimedia Research (established at the Student Centre), as well as extra-institutional venues such as Haustor on Frankopanska Street or Podroom on Mesnička Street, founded and run by the artists themselves.


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