• WHO WAS 1968?
    28 Sept 2018 − 13 Jan 2019

    LENTOS Kunstmuseum WHO WAS 1968? Art, Architecture, Society Curated by: Hedwig Saxenhuber, Georg Schöllhammer Loans by Kontakt from: Heimrad Bäcker, Stanisław Dróżdż, VALIE EXPORT, Stano Filko, Běla Kolářová, Július Koller, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević and Goran Trbuljak A decade of eruptions, departures and redefinitions in the steel city Linz. The year I968 marks a turning point that ushered in a new era. Across Western Europe and in the United States Student protests and workers’ revolts called into question the post-war power structure itself, while Soviet tanks bulldozed the Prague Spring into the ground and signalled the end of the hope that the Eastern Bloc would open up to the West. This exhibition harks back to the echoes of I968 in Linz and Upper Austria. Embracing the arts, architecture, music, film and literature, it unfolds for the first time a synoptic map on which key figures and moments of local history – some largely unknown to this day – are accorded a place. It enables visitors to embark on exploratory trips and to survey the rich fabric of relationships and linkages that includes points of contact with international scenarios and trends. Experiments in the aesthetic field were begun with a view to escaping from the cultural stuffiness of the first two post-war decades. The participating artists include: Claudia von Alemann, Ant Farm, Heimrad Bäcker, Josef Bauer, Bill Bollinger, Dietmar Brehm, Gerd Conradt, Waltraut Cooper, Stanisław Dróżdż, Erró, VALIE EXPORT, Harun Farocki, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Stano Filko, Helmuth Gsöllpointner, Timo Huber, Johann Jascha, Martha Jungwirth, Gülsün Karamustafa, Gerhard Knogler, Běla Kolářová, Juliús Koller, Peter Kubelka, Zofia Kulik, KwieKulik, Maria Lassnig, Fritz Lichtenauer, Natalia LL, Karel Miler, Josef Nöbauer, OHO, Yoko Ono, Gina Pane, Friederike Pezold, Cora Pongracz, Chris Reinecke, Martha Rosler, Dieter Roth, Zorka Sàglovà, Dominik Steiger, Petr Štembera, Raša Todosijević, Goran Trbuljak, Tucumàn Arde, Jiřì Valoch, Agnés Varda, Peter Weibel, Hannah Wilke, Jana Želibská, Želimir Žilnik, Zünd-Up


Julije Knifer

In the 1960s, aiming at the anti-painting, Julije Knifer created minimal means of expression using the method of reduction and, accordingly, chose a meander as a definitive form of his paintings. He used black-and-white contrasts, relations between the verticals and the horizontals in order to create a monotonous rhythm which for the artist represented the simplest and the most expressive form.

Though very similar, Knifer's Meanders were interpreted differently due to the period in which they appeared: first in the context of geometric abstractions and neo-constructivism of the New Tendencies of the 1960s, then their asceticism and interest for the absurd present in the anti-art of the neo-avantgarde group Gorgona (which was active in the 1959-66 period in Zagreb and under the auspices of which “Gorgona no. 2”, an artist’s magazine was realized) was emphasized. Minimalism and conceptualism changed the conditions under which his paintings were supposed to be interpreted in the same manner as subsequent approaches would reveal numerous new connotations. However, his work envisaged and realized consequently could not belong to a single trend because Knifer constantly shifted from those painters who were formally similar to him. Knifer's work is based on an obsessive repetition of a single selected motif, realized via a longer time period, in numerous variations. It reflects the Sisyphean path which he has consciously chosen, an endless patience, and in the wording of the author himself a "non-development". He belongs to the circle of those distinctive artists who have incorporated in their work their attitude towards time and repetition in art: such as Roman Opałka, On Kawara or Hanne Darboven.

In his “Notes” (1977), Knifer writes the following: "In my case, time plays no role and I do not care when I made specific paintings. The chronology of my works is not important. I might have already painted my last painting and have not even made my first."


1924, Osijek / HR, at that time Jugoslavija – 2004, Paris / FR

Knifer studied Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb (Croatia). After his graduation he became a founding member of the artist group “Gorgona”. From 1961 to 1973 he joined the art movement “The New Tendencies”. In 2001 Knifer represented Croatia at the 49th Venice Biennial. 1994 he moved to Paris (France) where he lived until his death. In 2003 he received the “Vladimir Nazor Life Achievement Award”.


Please follow this link for a selected bibliography available at the ERSTE Foundation Library
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