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Czech Republic • 1871−1957

Biography and information

Frantisek Kupka (the Czech. František Kupka; September 23, 1871, Opoczno, Bohemia - June 21, 1957, PUTEAUX, Hauts-de-Seine), Czech painter, a large part of his life he lived in France. One of the first representatives of abstract painting, the representative of orphism. Creative style Kupka evolved from realism to abstract art.

The Kupka was born in the family of a craftsman. In 1888-1891 studied at the Prague Academy of arts, creating in that time, the paintings on historical and Patriotic themes. In 1891 he moved to Vienna, where he entered the Academy of fine arts, focusing on creating paintings on symbolic and allegorical subjects. In the same period began his interest theosophy and Eastern philosophy. Since 1895, the Kupka lived in Paris, was briefly attended a private Academy of arts "Académie Julian", then studied at the School of fine arts (Hotel des Beaux Arts). Illustrated books (including the labour of Man and the Earth" J. J. E. reclu), he designed posters, became known as the author of satirical drawings in Newspapers and magazines under the name "Paul Ragnar". In 1906, he settled in Paris suburb of PUTEAUX, in the same year for the first time exhibited at the Autumn salon (Salon d'automne).

The Kupka was deeply impressed with the first "Manifesto of futurism" Filippo Marinetti published in 1909 in the newspaper Le Figaro. Picture 1909 "piano Keys, or Lake (national gallery in Prague) marked a change in style Kupka. In the works 1908-1911 years - the influence of Fauvism and pointillism. Paintings, created in 1910-1911, became closer to abstract art, reflecting his theory about the movement, color, music and painting (orphism). In 1911 he attended the meeting of the Cubists from the group "PUTEAUX". In 1912 took part the exhibition of cubism "Golden section" in the independent's Salon (Salon des Indépendants), although at that time not yet identified themselves fully with cubism.

In 1919 he became a Professor of the Academy of arts, teaching of students, passing practice in Paris. In 1919-1938 years the Kupka was financially supported by his close friend, art collector and the industrialist Jindrich Waldes, which gathered a considerable collection of works of the artist.

In 1931 the Kupka together with other representatives of art founded the group "Abstraction-Création" ("Abstraction-creation"). In 1936, his works were shown at the exhibition "Cubism and abstract art" at the Museum of modern art in new York, as well as the exhibition of paintings of another famous Czech artist Alphonse Mucha gallery "jeu de POM" (Paris). Retrospective exhibition of paintings Kupka was held in 1946 in the gallery "Manas" (Prague). In the same year participated in the Salon of the new realities (Salon des réalités nouvelles), where he continued to regularly offer their creations until the end of life. In the beginning of 1950-ies has acquired wide recognition, conducted several solo exhibitions in new York. Last years the Kupka held in PUTEAUX, where he died in 1957.