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Article

Joan Marter

[Aleksandr ]

(b Kiev, Ukraine, May 30, 1887; d New York, Feb 25, 1964).

Ukrainian sculptor, active in Paris and in the USA. He began studying painting and sculpture at the School of Art in Kiev in 1902 but was forced to leave in 1905 after criticizing the academicism of his instructors. In 1906 he went to Moscow, where, according to the artist, he participated in some group exhibitions (Archipenko, p. 68). In 1908 he established himself in Paris, where he rejected the most favoured contemporary sculptural styles, including the work of Rodin. After only two weeks of formal instruction at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts he left to teach himself sculpture by direct study of examples in the Musée du Louvre. By 1910 Archipenko was exhibiting with the Cubists at the Salon des Indépendants, and his work was shown at the Salon d’Automne from 1911 to 1913.

A variety of cultural sources lies behind Archipenko’s work. He remained indebted throughout his career to the spiritual values and visual effects found in the Byzantine culture of his youth and had a strong affinity for ancient Egyptian, Gothic, and primitive art that co-existed with the influence of modernist styles such as Cubism and Futurism....

Article

Lenka Bydžovská

(b Velké Lišice, nr Chlumec nad Cidlinou, Jan 22, 1883; d Prague, March 27, 1979).

Czech painter, writer and theorist. In 1902–4 he studied at the Prague School of Applied Art and in 1904–7 at the Academy of Fine Arts. After visiting Dresden, Berlin, Munich and Paris, he returned to Prague and joined Eight, the, which had been set up by his former fellow students; he exhibited at the group’s second show in 1908. His early work was influenced by the ideas of Bohumil Kubišta, with whom he shared a workshop. Although basically an uncomplicated, sensual painter, he attempted to keep well informed about contemporary artistic trends. In 1910–14 he became a fervent devotee of Cubism and, together with Emil Filla, adhered faithfully to the style of Picasso and Braque. He was one of the founders (1911) of the Group of Plastic Artists and contributed theoretical articles to its journal, Umělecký měsíčník. No consistent reconstruction of his paintings before World War I can be made because most of his Cubist works were later destroyed. His process of crystallization in relation to the painting of space culminated in ...

Article

Vojtěch Lahoda

(b Hronov, March 23, 1887; d Bergen-Belsen, April 1945).

Czech painter, printmaker and writer. He studied weaving (1901–3) in Vrchlabí and then from 1904 to 1910 decorative painting at the School of Applied Arts in Prague, where he was influenced by the highly decorative art of the Secession. During this period he wrote stories with his brother, the novelist Karel Čapek (1890–1938). In 1910 they went to Paris for nearly a year, where Josef Čapek studied painting at the Académie Colarossi and became a friend of Apollinaire. In 1911 he and his brother co-founded the Cubist-orientated Group of Plastic Artists. Čapek attempted to modify Cubism by introducing elements of Expressionism and Symbolism. His efforts dumbfounded some members of the group, and in 1912 he and various of his friends parted company with it. From 1915 he began to achieve a synthesis of Cubism, Neo-classicism and a personal symbolism (e.g. the Man in the Hat, 1915...

Article

Radomíra Sedláková

(b Písek, Oct 13, 1880; d Karlovy Vary, July 6, 1956).

Czech architect. He studied architecture at the Technical University, Prague, and later at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, under Otto Wagner. In 1911, together with Josef Gočár, Pavel Janák, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964) and others, he founded the Group of Plastic Artists, Prague, which sought to develop a more artistic approach to architecture. He subsequently became one of the leading exponents of Czech Cubism in architecture, which concentrated on the sculptural articulation of façades with abstract, prismatic forms. He designed four houses (1911–13; for illustration) below Vyšehrad Hill in Prague with faceted façades that are among the best examples of Czech Cubism. At about the same time, however, he produced drawings for austere, geometric, undecorated façades that anticipated the later development of Czech Purism. Buildings he designed in the Purist style included an office building (1920–21) in Jindřišska Street and a building (1923–5) for the ...

Article

Vojtěch Lahoda

(b Chropyně, Moravia [now Czech Republic], April 4, 1882; d Prague, Oct 6, 1953).

Czech painter, printmaker, sculptor, writer and collector. After a short period at a business school and in an insurance office in Brno, he became a student at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague (1903). In 1904 he won the Academy’s first prize. At the end of the year he set out on a lengthy journey to Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, France and Italy. He became absorbed in the Old Masters, especially Rembrandt. His own style passed from Post-Impressionism to a more expressive dominance of colour. In 1907 he took part in the first exhibition of The Eight (see Eight, the) with a programme painting, the Reader of Dostoyevsky (Prague, N.G., Trade Fair Pal.), partly influenced by the Munch exhibition in Prague in 1905. At the same time the picture is a very personal manifesto reflecting the Angst and scepticism of his generation. At the second exhibition of The Eight in ...

Article

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 ...

Article

Karel Srp

(b Dvůr Králové, Aug 3, 1889; d Prague, June 2, 1927).

Czech sculptor and draughtsman. One of the outstanding Czech sculptors of the early 20th century, he had a considerable influence both during his lifetime and subsequently. He studied at the Central School of Ceramics at Bechyně from 1903 and then under Professor J. Drahoňovský at the School of Applied Arts in Prague (1905–9) where his exceptional plastic sensibility became apparent. He then spent a year in Paris at the atelier of Emile-Antoine Bourdelle. Gutfreund’s work can be divided into two contrasting periods: the first, beginning in 1910, is largely Cubist while the second, beginning c. 1919, shows a move to realistic sculpture. (Unless otherwise stated, all sculptures by Gutfreund mentioned below are in Prague, National Gallery.) His early work was influenced by Michelangelo’s Slaves (c. 1514; Paris, Louvre; see fig.) and by Honoré Daumier’s modelling and treatment of light, which jointly inspired Anguish (1911) and ...

Article

Radomíra Sedláková

(b Prague, March 12, 1882; d Prague, Aug 1, 1956).

Czech architect, designer, theorist and teacher. He graduated in architecture from the Czech Technical University, Prague, where he studied under Josef Schulz and Josef Zítek, and from 1906 to 1907 he was a student of Otto Wagner at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna. In 1908 he worked in Jan Kotěra’s studio in Prague. His early work was influenced by the modernism of Wagner and Kotěra, but he perceived a danger of uniformity in a purely rationalist approach to architecture. In 1911, together with Josef Chochol, Josef Gočár, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964), Emil Filla, Václav Špála, Antonín Procházka, Otto Gutfreund and others, he founded the Group of Fine Artists, which sought a more artistic approach to architecture, and in 1912 he and Gočár founded the Prague Art Workshops for the design of arts, crafts and furniture. Within the Group of Fine Artists, Janák developed the principles of Czech Cubism...

Article

Jaroslav Sedlář

(b Vlčkovice, nr Hradec Králové, Aug 21, 1884; d Prague, Nov 27, 1918).

Bohemian painter, printmaker and draughtsman. He studied at the School of Applied Arts in Prague, but left in 1906 to study at the Reale Istituto di Belle Arti in Florence. In the same year, with Emil Filla and Antonin Procházka among others, he founded Eight, the, a group of artists who felt the need of innovation in their art, as exemplified by Cubism and German Expressionism. In 1909 and 1910 he visited Paris. During the next two years he exhibited with the Neue Sezession in Berlin and in 1913 in Düsseldorf. His work evolved rapidly from Impressionism, Expressionism and a specific kind of Cubism to Italian Futurism.

The young Kubišta was strongly affected by the work of Munch exhibited in Prague in 1905. Until 1910 he worked in an Expressionist style, which brought him closer to the German painters associated with Der Blaue Reiter and Die Brücke. The first notable example of this period was ...

Article

Vladimír Šlapeta

(b Kouřim, Bohemia [now Czech Republic], April 24, 1883; d Prague, Feb 10, 1960).

Czech architect. He studied architecture at the Czech Technical University, Prague, and became a founder-member and leading representative of the Architects’ Club (1913), which brought together the modernist graduates of the University. Kysela spent most of his career working in the construction office of the city of Prague. After an initial interest in Czech Cubism, seen in his U Klíčů house (1914), Lesser Town, Prague, and in Rondocubism, he moved first to the rationalist use of bare brickwork, as in his power station (1923) at Vinohrady, Prague, and finally to Constructivism. The modular system of a reinforced-concrete skeleton enabled him to simplify both the plan and the façade and to use a suspended glass envelope. He applied these principles to the first large-scale modern commercial buildings in Prague’s main centre, Wenceslas Square: the Lindt Department Store and Café (1924–6), the Baťa Department Store (...

Article

Lenka Bydžovská

(b Vážany u Vyškova, June 5, 1882; d Brno, June 9, 1945).

Czech painter and designer. In 1902–4 he studied at the Academy of Applied Arts (Vysoká Škola Uměleckoprůmyslová) and in 1904–6 at the Academy of Fine Arts (Akademii Výtvarných Uměni) in Prague. In 1906 he made a study journey through Europe with his fellow students Emil Filla and Friedrich Feigl (1884–1965) and subsequently several journeys with his wife, the painter Linka Scheithauerová (b 1884). He was one of the founders (1907) of the avant-garde group known as the Eight (1907), based in Prague (see Eight, the), and the Cubist-oriented Group of Plastic Artists. His early work was influenced by Expressionism and Fauvism and his stay in Paris in autumn 1909 stimulated his interest in Cubism, resulting in Cubo-Expressionistic works (e.g. Prometheus, 1910–11; Brno, Morav. Gal.). By late 1912 he had assimilated some aspects of Analytical Cubism, modifying them with a certain personal sensuality and skittishness (e.g. ...

Article

Vojtěch Lahoda

(b Žlutice, nr Nový Bydžov, Aug 24, 1885; d Prague, May 12, 1946).

Bohemian painter and printmaker. After graduating from the School of the Locksmith’s Art at Hradec Králové, he moved to Prague, where he studied under the landscape painter Ferdinand Engelmüller (1867–1924), before enrolling in 1903 at the Academy of Fine Arts. Dissatisfied with the teaching, he left without completing his studies. From 1907 to 1908 he lived in Dubrovnik, where he painted in the Fauvist style. In 1909 he became a member of the Mánes Union of Artists, which he left in 1911 along with several of his colleagues to co-found the Cubist-oriented Group of Plastic Artists (see Czech Cubism). He did not accept Cubist aesthetics without reservation, preferring energetic brushstrokes and an emphasis on rhythm, which he applied universally in motifs of washerwomen, women bathers and landscapes. In 1912 he withdrew from the Group of Plastic Artists, re-joining instead the Mánes Union. He came closest to ...

Article

Christa Lichtenstern

[ Zadkin, Osip ]

(b Vitebsk, July 14, 1890; d Paris, Nov 25, 1967).

French sculptor, draughtsman and printmaker of Belorussian birth. He spent his childhood in Smolensk in a circle of cultured and assimilated Jews. His father was a convert to the Orthodox Church, and his mother came from an immigrant family of Scottish shipwrights. While staying with his mother’s relatives in Sunderland, northern England, in 1905, he attended the local art school and taught himself to carve furniture ornaments. At the age of 16 he continued his artistic training in London, taking evening classes in life drawing and making his living as an ornamental woodcarver. During this time he became friendly with the painter David Bomberg. He continued his studies at the Regent Street Polytechnic, London, and later, in 1908, at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, London, where he concentrated on techniques in wood.

Early works such as Volga Boatmen (1908; destr.) were oriented towards a socially critical realism. During a brief return to Russia in summer ...

Article

Lenka Bydžovská

(b Vadin, near Havlíčkův Brod, Nov 5, 1890; d Prague, Oct 12, 1977).

Czech painter and illustrator . He studied painting in Prague, first in private schools, then at the School of Applied Art (1907–9). In autumn 1907 he made his first, brief visit to Paris. Shortly after his return he succeeded for the first time in expressing his own inner world, infused with a new melancholy, in a small pastel Valley of Sadness (1907; painted version, 1908; both Prague, N.G.), which he looked upon as his talisman throughout his life. His early work ranged from flat and linear painting in the Gauguin tradition, via remarkable collages made from coloured foil, to rhapsodic Expressionism, as in Antichrist (1909; Prague, N.G.). Several self-portraits of 1908–9 bear witness to his quest for himself and to his penchant for self-stylization.

Zrzavý’s emphasis on the symbolic and psychic roots of his artistic work brought him into the Sursum group, which in 1910–12 attracted the second Symbolist generation in Bohemia, including ...