There aren’t many Czech artists that take part in forming an important international movement or trend. One of them is Milan Kunc, a leading representative of the return to figurative art in 1970s following a period in which conceptual trends dominated the international scene. In addition, he was able to experience firsthand studying under Josef Beuys and Gerhard Richter at the Düsseldorf Academy where traditional painting was considered an utterly obsolete form of expression. At that time he already had behind him four years at the Prague academy, his expulsion due to alleged lack of talent and his ensuing emigration to Germany in 1969. Around the time of the late 1970s and early 1980s he then formed the Normal group with fellow Czech student Jan Knap and German Peter Angermann. This group, along with the German Neue Wilde and Italian Transavantgarde, created a form of post-modern painting. The significance of art groups often lie more in the symbolic content that they concentrate within them at a given moment in history than in their actual group activities - something similar to the applies with the Normal Group. Even though some of their public exhibitions – e.g participating in the Times Square Show in New York or the Paris Biennale (both in 1980) – were quite prestigious, the group itself existed for only a little over a year. And yet they are still considered an important reference point in art history, due mainly to the congenial intersection of the work of the three protagonists. Each of them was a strong individual with his own unique expression, and yet a strong common denominator is evident. They used humour against the seriousness of all those, who saw in art an instrument of revolutionary transformation of the world, against the encoded language of the world of art, a traditional pictorial language shared by Henri Rousseau or artists of the early Renaissance. But above all it was an exciting union of sovereign artistic quality, a sharp intellect, thanks to which they managed to freely and theoretically defend their position, and something apparently low-brow: banalities, idylls, kitsch. And its kitsch, whose stable iconography became an important component of Kunc’s work, that is an interesting intellectual theme with many facets: social-critical, psychological, cultural-historical... The first decade of Kunc’s work was done in the spirit of “awkward realism” and “ost-pop”, a kind of Eastern European paraphrasing of Pop Art, in which he worked with symbols and pictorial schemes of communist totalitarian ideology. However, he gradually abandoned this persiflage and his postmodern allegories transformed into a personal version of classicism in which the critical perspective gave way to positive contents and the picture freed of all non-artistic aspects became an aesthetic experience in itself.
Kusak, Alexej: Ein Maler mit grünen Träumen. Entdeckt: Milan Kunc, in: Art, ed. 9, Sept. 1980, s. 106 ff.
Kusak, Alexej: Neue Malwut, in: Stern Magazin, ed. 41, Oct. 1981, s. 40-60
Wiese, Stephan von: Bilder an der Kante – ein Gespräch mit Milan Kunc, in: Kunstforum, ed. 59, 3/1983, p. 121.
Wiese, Stephan von: Verstörende Idyllen-Mutationen und Konstanten im Werk von Milan Kunc, in: Kunstforum, ed. 59, 3/83, p. 108ff.
Slavická Milena , Malíř kontrolovaného bláznovství (O díle Milana Kunce), Výtvarné umění, 3,1992, s. 20-33
Pavel Netopil, Zlatý věk, A2, 47/07
Volf Petr: Jsem angažovaný blázen. Rozhovor s Milanem Kuncem. Reflex ?/1996. In: www.jedinak.cz