An exam question for you: – You know about Surrealism, Impressionism, Constructivism, Dada, Pop Art, and many other art movements, but what do you know about Signals or Signalism? Probably not a lot…..
Signalism was an international movement which developed in Yugoslavia in the 1950′s linking across all the arts including visual art, poetry, technology, literature and language. A few years late, David Medalla, Guy Brett, Paul Keeler, Gustav Metzger and Marcello Salvadori started publishing the Signals newsletter in London with the aim of introducing the London art audience to new work from less-represented countries from Latin America, Europe, North America and Asia. I know the difficulties – 20 years ago I looked at setting up a gallery focussed on Latin American art, the advice was ‘several people have tried and failed’ and, even today there are only a few galleries such as Maddox Arts which focus on the talent of that continent, with Rebecca Hossack brought Australian art to London. The London arts community is remarkably conservative.
Signal only lasted for a brief period, but it is back at S│2 London in a series of changing exhibitions running from May to July bringing over 50 of the artists to London, many still relatively unknown, though a few are now recognised here and in the USA. The work is varied, geometric, linking to design, optics, technology and architecture (which is probably why architects like me like it). It has a logic at its core, but then smashes that logic with an informal poetry to create something new. It deserves to be known more!