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Radomíra Sedláková

Term used to describe a style in architecture and the applied arts, directly inspired by Cubist painting and sculpture, which was developed by architects and designers active in Prague shortly before World War I; the term itself was not used until the 1960s. The leaders of the style were the members of the Group of Plastic Artists (1911–14), which broke away from the Mánes Union of Artists in 1911 and for two years published its own journal, Umělecký měsíčník (‘Art monthly’). The architects in the group were Josef Gočár, Josef Chochol, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964) and Pavel Janák; other members included Emil Filla, Václav Špála, Antonín Procházka and Otto Gutfreund. The group was reacting against the austere rationalism of such architects as Jan Kotěra, seeking instead to sustain architecture and the applied arts as branches of art rich in content. Their approach was expounded in various articles, particularly by Janák, who developed the principles of architectural Cubism; based on the thesis of Cubism in painting and sculpture, that art should create a distinctive, parallel picture of reality, it attempted to dematerialize a building’s mass by the three-dimensional surface sculpturing of the façade with abstract, prismatic forms....

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Radomíra Sedláková

(b Semín, nr Pardubice, March 13, 1880; d Jičín, Sept 10, 1945).

Czech architect, designer, urban planner and teacher. In 1906 he completed his studies at the Academy of Applied Arts, Prague, under Jan Kotěra, in whose studio he worked until 1908. His earliest work was strikingly modern and rationalist in style, revealing a purity of expression in the use of reinforced concrete; for example the Wenke Department Store (1909–10), Jaroměř, was designed with a skeleton structure on which a lightweight, fully glazed wall was suspended to form the façade. In 1911, with Josef Chochol, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964), Pavel Janák and others, he became a founder-member of the Group of Plastic Artists, Prague, which sought to develop a more artistic approach to architecture; a year later he and Janák founded the Prague Art Workshops for the design of arts, crafts and furniture, and from 1914 he was a member of the Architects’ Club. Influenced by Janák, Gočár adopted the prismatic surface forms of ...

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Radomíra Sedláková

(b Benešov, Jan 11, 1880; d Prague, April 4, 1959).

Czech architect, designer, teacher and writer. He graduated (1903) in architecture from the Academy of Applied Arts, Prague, where he studied under Jan Kotěra. He worked for a year in Kotěra’s studio, then set up his own practice. Novotný was a notable member of the generation that laid the foundations for modern architecture in Czechoslovakia. He was initially influenced by the Viennese Secession style, as seen in his finely decorative Otto villa (1909), Zbraslav, but at this time he was also developing an individual style using bare brickwork with great skill. Perhaps the best examples of this modern, rationalist approach are found in the Štenc house and publishing offices (1909–11), Prague, for which he also designed some elegant black-and-white furniture, and in his clubhouses (1911 and 1912) for the Sokol national physical education movement in Holice and Rakovník. He was less influenced by Czech Cubism, although he did design three houses (...