1+1+1 & SIGMA
The long-awaited 1 + 1 + 1 and SIGMA exhibition is possible as a result of the inventory of all the museum's heritage objects and the restoration of some of them. It is also the result of a long research, selection and organization activity, in which all the staff of the institution took part. It presents dozens of works created by the artists of the two famous groups, 1 + 1 + 1 and SIGMA.
Founded in 1966, group 111 must be seen in the setting created by the Art High School in Timisoara. In a short time, he managed to prove that interdisciplinary dialogue is fundamental to the changes taking place in the world. After Roman Cotoșman left for the USA, group 111 became the SIGMA group. For contemporary art in Romania, SIGMA had offered a different understanding and a different definition of man through the grammar of forms, industrial aesthetics, marketing, industrial geometry, complementary colors, design, bionic study. The artists who gave life to the SIGMA group - Ștefan Bertalan, Constantin Flondor, Doru Tulcan and Ioan Gaita - were teachers of the mentioned high school. Ștefan Bertalan and Constantin Flondor had proposed "an art pedagogy program, principles of correlation between form - function - environment, principles of generating forms".
The SIGMA group had become a reference not only in the visual arts, where it contributed decisively to the renewal of languages, but also in the debate of ideas. The collaboration with engineers, architects and scientists led the group to an interdisciplinary research, remarkable for the years 1960 - 1970 and for the conditions of a totalitarian political regime that competed in taking coercive measures. Despite multiple restrictions, Timisoara was a place where there were enough enlightened minds, aspiring to a pro-Western orientation in the arts and sciences. In fact, the city still retains a rich palette of multicultural heritage, encouraging experiments. These had been possible on the background that Timisoara in the postwar years was still populated by many highly skilled craftsmen, a middle class surviving the war and speaking several languages, a society in which interpersonal relationships were based on dialogue and reciprocity of services.
The old industries continued their existence (the case of the factories TIMIȘOREANA, ILSA, KANDIA, GUBAN, AZUR, etc.), and the people who represented them were not strangers to the plurality of customs inherited from their predecessors, to the professional training and ethics, to the good common sense and good. This aspect - too little highlighted in the understanding of the city's infrastructure - made possible the relationship between the creators of neo-avant-garde art and local society.