Běla Kolářová. Radiogram of Circle. 1962-63

Běla Kolářová Radiogram of Circle 1962-63

  • Not on view

Kolárová was known—with her partner, the poet and artist Jirí Kolàr—as an influential figure in Prague intellectual circles of the early 1960s. Kolárová's experimentation with cameraless photography began in 1961, when she aligned with the progressive art movement Križovatka (Crossroads), which aimed for new conceptual modes of expression antithetical to Soviet-sanctioned Socialist Realism. Kolárová began creating what could be called "artificial negatives," pressing small domestic and natural objects into a sheet of soft wax and then exposing the impressions to photographic paper under shifting light. Kolárová's experimental approach to photography and assemblage-based practices was groundbreaking for its time. The pictures titled Roetgenogram kruhu (Radiogram of Circle) were likely made by placing objects on photosensitive paper on a spinning gramophone and then exposing them to light.

Gallery label from Transmissions: Art in Eastern Europe and Latin America, 1960–1980, September 5, 2015–January 3, 2016.
Additional text

Kolárová began experimenting with cameraless photography in 1961, creating "artificial negatives" by pressing small domestic and natural objects into sheets of soft wax and then exposing the impressions to photographic paper under shifting light. Captivated by the ability of light to record the materiality of these objects, Kolárová made increasingly abstract work, which culminated in these concentric light images.

Gallery label from Making Space: Women Artists and Postwar Abstraction, April 19 - August 13, 2017.
Gelatin silver print
10 11/16 × 9 1/16" (27.1 × 23 cm)
Gift of Martin Helcl, Prague
Object number
© 2021 Estate of Bela Kolárová

Installation views

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].