Born in 1951 in Zagreb (Croatia), Vlado Martek graduated in literature and philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy in Zagreb in 1976. Initially, he was engaged in visual and concrete poetry, “pre-poetic”, as he defined at his first exhibition. Lately, he has returned to create conceptual projects. Through his work, he offers analytical, critical, ironic and humorous comments on societal structures and constructs. Typically he engages in linguistic subversion, oscillating between the visual arts, poetry and his own artforms of pre- and post-poetry.
Martek’s work can be viewed through the lens of avant-garde poetry, and many of his own interventions in language are inspired by early experimental poets. Following the notion that a poem is made and not written, Martek breaks the poem down to its sheer material components of paper, pencil and the occasional word. In his work, the alphabet, the foundation of language and thus also of (classical) poetry, are seen as the symbolic source of all knowledge. He lives and works in Zagreb.