Milan Knížák (b. 1940 in Plzeň, Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia [now Czech Republic], lives and works in Prague) is a Czech artist, sculptor, graphic designer, theorist, and musician. Since the early 1960s, he promoted the realization of “Ceremonies” and “Demonstrations,” actions performed in the streets of Prague. In 1964, following the spirit of these early events, he founded the group Aktuální umění (Actual Art), together with Jan Mach, Vít Mach, Sonia Švecová, Jan Trtílek, and Robert Wittmann. Aktualní umění performed various participatory actions such as Actual Walk (1964) and published various leaflets, dissident samizdat publications, and objects in small editions. Two years later, together with Dick Higgins, Ben Vautier, and Serge III Oldenbourg, Knížák organized the series of concerts “Koncert Fluxu” in Prague (1966). In 1968, Knížák traveled to New York, where he spent two years and participated in numerous Fluxus events organized by Maciunas. While this was an extensive and influential exchange, Knížák was also critical of both Happenings and Fluxus, asserting a more natural simultaneity between art and life, which has remained central to his practice from actions and design to music. Knížák has received numerous awards, including the Kolář Prize (1977) and a DAAD artist fellowship (1979). Knížák’s works are included in numerous collections, and he has exhibited internationally at, among others, Liget Galeria, Budapest (1987), the Biennale di Venezia (1990), the Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo (2017), and the Akademie der Künste, Berlin (2018).

Artworks (17)