Playing Ping-Pong with Július Koller, One Man Anti Show

14. November 2016
Magazine > Archive > Playing Ping-Pong with Július Koller, One Man Anti Show

Július Koller (1939–2007) is one of the most important Eastern European artists working since the 1960s, whose art had and has considerable international significance. This is the most comprehensive exhibition of the Slovak artist’s work to date, documenting his independent contribution to the neo-avantgarde and based on painstaking research into his art and archives. The exhibition “One Man Anti Show” will be shown at mumok from 25 November 2016 until 17 April 2017.

Koller‘s work developed in critical distance to the communist authorities and their official art, and it also questioned traditions in modernism and the conventions of the Western art business. Since the mid-1960s he designed Antihappenings and Antipictures, creating a playfully ironic oeuvre that combined a Dadaist spirit with radical-skeptical stance. Koller painted object-images in white latex and pictures of question marks that became the universal symbol of his critical view of everyday life and reality.
Koller saw tennis and table tennis as participatory art forms and here too he combined sport with political statement by demanding that the rules of the game and fair play be adhered to—as the basis of all social action. After the Prague Spring was put down, Koller began his U.F.O.naut series that challenged reality with “cultural situations” and utopias of a new, cosmohumanistic culture and future.


Curated by Daniel Grúň, Kathrin Rhomberg, and Georg Schöllhammer
Exhibition architecture by Hermann Czech
Artistic design of the archive room by Johannes Porsch

A thematic selection from the retrospective was on display from September 25, 2015, to January 11, 2016, at the Warsaw Museum of Modern Art.

J.K. Ping-Pong Club at mumok:
Every Thursday between 6pm and 9pm visitors can reserve a ping-pong table at the exhibition.


Július Koller
Antihappening. Systém subjektívnej objektivity / Antihappening. System of Subjective Objectivity, 1965
Grüner Briefmarkenstempel, Tinte, auf Papier / green stamp pad, ink on paper, 11,5 x 16,5 cm
© Bratislava City Gallery und/and Július Koller Society

Július Koller
Univerzálna Fyzkultúrna Operácia –  útočná (U.F.O.) / Universal Physical CUltural Operation – Attack, 1970
© Kontakt. Die Kunstsammlung der Erste Group und ERSTE Stiftung
Photo: Milan Sirkovský