Artpool, founded in 1979 by György Galántai and Julia Klaniczay was an attempt to create an alternative art institute, one that would make room for the new trends in art. They established Artpool at a time when art forms out of keeping with the official cultural policy were denied access to the public. Subsequent to the political changes of 1989, Artpool, which already had an international reputation, was officially recognized and in 1992 the Artpool Art Research Center opened to the public with funding from the Budapest Municipal Council.
Artpool Art Research Center is dedicated to contemporary international avant-garde media arts, such as Artist’s books,artistamp, mail art, visual poetry, sound poetry, conceptual art, fluxus, installation, performance.
The public archive at Artpool ranges over 300 meters shelving. The archive and library contain documents of international art and documents related to the Hungarian avant-garde and subculture from the 1960s on, such as “correspondence, notes, plans, ideas, interviews, writings, works of art, photo documents, catalogs, invitation cards, bibliographies, chronologies, diagrams, video and sound documents, CD-Roms, etc.”
Some of the international avant-garde artists and art-groups who are in the Artpool Archives, and have exhibited and lectured there include: Fluxus artists Ben Vautier, Dick Higgins, Geoffrey Hendricks, Endre Tót, Robert Watts, Jean-Jacques Lebel, Ray Johnson, sound poets and performers Jaap Blonk, Paul Panhuysen, Bernard Heidsieck, Tibor Papp, Julien Blaine, Ernst Jandl, mail art and artist’s book artists Guglielmo Achille Cavellini, Buster Cleveland, Ginny Lloyd, Anna Banana, Vittore Baroni, Guy Bleus, John Held, Jr., Barbara Rosenthal.