CZECH ART AND ITALIAN VISUAL POETRY
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In the context of Czech artistic contacts with the Italian scene, visual poetry, in addition to surrealism and concrete art, represents one of the key aspects of the last phase of the international neo-avant-garde. From the end of the 1950s and throughout the 1960s and 1970s, certain artists - such as Jiri Kolár, Ladislav Novák and Milan Knizák - maintained extensive contacts with Italy in connection with the expansion of new art forms characterised by a multimedia approach, such as concrete, visual and phonic poetry, graphic music and musical graphics, happenings, performance and action art. A detailed analysis of printed Italian materials and archive collections indicates the extent of this half-forgotten but artistically productive trend. In the literary field, it is associated with the names of Bohumila Grögerová and Josef Hirsal. Research has demonstrated that the life-long work of these artists, even such unique figures as Václav Havel, cannot be fully understood without consideration of the facts, details and peculiarities that connected them with the Italian cultural world. There they are to this day among the few well-known Czech artists.
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