Exat 51

Artist Group

1950-56, Zagreb. The group was formed at the plenary meeting of the Association of Applied Artists of Croatia, at which they proclaimed their manifesto: to protest against the dominance of officially sanctioned Socialist Realism and the condemnation of all forms of abstraction and motifs unacceptable in Communist doctrine as decadent and bourgeois. Exat-51 emphasized that such an attitude contradicted the principles of Socialist development, that the differences between so-called ‘pure’ art and ‘applied’ art were non-existent and that abstract art could enrich the field of visual communication. The activity of the group was therefore to spring from the existing social situation and, as such, to contribute to the progress of society. The principal intention was to attain a synthesis of all branches of the fine arts and to encourage artistic experimentation.

First exhibition: at the Hall of the Architects’ Society of Croatia (Zagreb, 1953).