Mangelos was born in 1921 in Sid, Serbia and died in 1987 in Zagreb, Croatia.

Dimitrije Bašičević was an art historian, a critic, a museum director but also an artist under the pseudonym Mangelos. During the World War II he produced his first artworks: “paysages de la mort” and “paysages de la guerre”. He used to draw a black square in one of his school notebooks each time he learned about the death of a relative or a friend. These black squares became blackboards to cover with notes – poems, thoughts, quotations linked to his theoretical work. In the 1950s he created several series of works (tabula rasa, alphabet, paysages, nostories, graphs, negation de la peinture, pythagoras) which he was later to repeat obsessively. These works/texts in various languages and alphabets resemble neat calligraphy on writing tablets, although different materials are used: wooden boards, paper, exercise books, books, globes. Bašičević assumed the name of Mangelos which he used for his »private experiment, called noart«.