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Latvian, 20th century, male.

Born 8 October 1911, in Riga, Russian Empire (now Latvia); died 19 April 1940, in Riga.

Painter, draughtsman, graphic artist. Genre painting, portraiture, literary and social satirical subjects.

Kārlis Padegs was a rarity among Latvian artists of the interbellum period: Primarily a flâneur in contemporaries’ minds, Padegs created some of his nation’s most lacerating imagery, delivering both caustic social critique and urbane humour at a time when the art of his peers grew ever more innocuous and scenic. His childhood was initially spent in wartime exile in Dorpat (now Tartu), Estonia, then as a student at Riga City’s First Elementary School, where he took drawing classes from Ernests Veilands and, working for the applied arts section of the Latvian Youth Red Cross, was first observed to possess precocious interpretive views on classic paintings created by Janis Rozentāls. Considerably older than other students with whom he matriculated, Padegs sidestepped high school, qualifying instead for admission to the Latvian Art Academy in ...


Karel Srp

(b Prague, Dec 13, 1900; d Prague, Oct 1, 1951).

Bohemian critic, theorist, collagist and typographer. He was one of the founders of Devětsil (1920–31) and was the spokesman and theorist of the Czechoslovak Surrealist group (1934–51), inviting André Breton and Paul Eluard to Prague in 1935. His early works were influenced by Cubism. During the 1920s and 1930s he was an enthusiastic typographer, while in the 1940s he devoted himself primarily to making Surrealist collages, concentrating in particular on the female nude. As a theorist he was active from 1920, becoming the spokesman of his generation and its main interpreter, editing the journals Disk (1923, 1925) and ReD (Revue Devětsilu; 1927–31). At first interested in utopian prototypes, he developed an interest in Constructivism after a visit to Paris in 1923. In the late 1920s he became an internationally acknowledged theorist of modern architecture. He delivered a cycle of lectures at the Bauhaus on the sociology of architecture (...