Transformer Milan Langer

The exhibition and the monograph which is currently being prepared should reveal the breadth of the creative activities of Milan Langer (1944 - 2017), a thus-far underappreciated star and enfant terrible of visual art, all in one. We will discover his work starting with his early performance art from the late 60s, through his visual series, image poems and happenings all the way to the video-film Afterlife, completed in November of 2017. For a long time, his trademarks were paintings made using stencils and silk screen printing, which he began using more frequently after his arrival to Hradec Králové in 1975. Later, he expressed himself through canvas photo prints, objects, poems, and music. He focused most prominently on the moving image and collective, scenic performance art, which always featured a strong visual and musical component.

An important point in Langer’s career was a joint exhibition with Sir Peter Blake in the ambulatory of Prague’s Carolinum in the year 1994, in which Central-European pop-art was juxtaposed with original British pop-art. The two artists were also connected through their extension into the realm of music. Blake is the author of iconic Beatles album covers and Langer designed covers for the bands MAO and I.R.A.

Historian and art theoretician Jan Kříž values Langer’s intellectual approach, which does not shy away from playfulness and which can be considered a type of critical thinking. Langer had, and still has, a significant influence on the art and music scene in Hradec Králové, because he surrounded himself with young artists, with whom he often worked on collectively-authored projects under the name of Brutální Nikita and, later, as Art Division Team Victory Nox.

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