Franz Kupka – Etude par la Fugue

Franz Kupka – etude par la fugueAbove: Etude par la Fugue (1911-1912) –  oil on canvas 66cm x 66cm

Painter and graphic artist František Kupka, (also known as Frank or François Kupka), was born in Opočno, eastern Bohemia (now Czechoslovakia), on 23 September, 1871. He was a pioneer and co-founder of the early phases of the abstract art movement and Orphic Cubism (Orphism). The basis of Kupka’s abstract works arose from an understanding of realism, which later evolved into pure abstract art.

From 1889-1892, Kupka studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, where he painted historical and patriotic themes.  He then enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, where he concentrated on symbolic and allegorical subjects.

  • He was influenced by Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach (1851–1913) and his naturalistic life-style.
  • He exhibited at the Kunstverein, Vienna, in 1894.
  • Kupka worked as an illustrator of books and posters and during his early years in Paris, and became known for his satirical drawings for newspapers and magazines.
  •  His work became increasingly abstract around 1910–11, reflecting his theories of motion, colour and Orphism.

In 1936, his work was included in the exhibition Cubism and Abstract Art at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and in an important show with another Czech painter Alphonse Mucha at the Jeu de Paume in Paris.

  • A retrospective of his work took place at the Galerie Mánes in Prague in 1946, as well as an exhibition at the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles.

Kupka died in June 24, 1957, in Puteaux, France.

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