This paper deals with a re-reading of avant-garde and critical art practices that were emerging and developing in the interwar period in Yugoslavia, and their interrelations. Unlike dominant modernist art historical analyses that see a discontinuity and breakup with the avant-garde practices that pre-date it – in the “socialist art” of the fourth decade of the twentieth century – this research is trying to read the above mentioned art practices as a certain continuity and with organic coherence. Through a case study of artistic practices of Mirko Kujačić, the paper will show strong influences of Zenithism and Surrealism on the “socialist art”, defining it the art of “critical realism” (term by Lukács). It is stated that one can find avant-garde tendencies in the art of critical realism that take on different art methods and forms due to the changed socio-political circumstances, fast fascistization of the society and the proximity of war. In such political atmosphere, the avant-garde currents are reflected in the “temporal overlaps” of art and politics.