Sotheby's /Nov 12, 2014
€37,950.66 - €63,251.09
Artworks in Arcadja519
Some works of Frank KupkaExtracted between 519 works in the catalog of Arcadja
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Frantisek Kupka * (Opocno, Boemia,1871–1957 Puteaux) Bather, 1904, signed, dated Kupka ‘04, oil on canvas, 56 x 56 cm, framed, (AR) The authenticity of the work was confirmed by Karl Flinker (letter to the owner, 13 October 1983) We are grateful to Pierre Brullé for his kind assistance to the cataloging of the work. Provenance: Artist’’’’s studio (as confirmed by the above letter by Karl Fllinker) Galleria del Levante, Milan - Munich Sale Finarte Rome, 19 November 1992, Lot 264 European Private Collection Exhibition: Lerici, Castello Monumentale, La Nuova Oggettività e altre cose - il mondo di Emilio Bertonati, 15 July - 17 September 2000, exh. cat. published by Mazzotta, p. 24 with ill. Frantisek Kupka studied at the Academy of Applied Arts in Prague and subsequently in Vienna. He moved to Paris in 1894, where he came in contact with the most modern painting trends of his time. The present work perfectly represents the link between tradition and avant-garde. The protagonist of the painting is the white body of the female figure, whose stretched arm frames a seascape consisting entirely of a symphony of blue shades and white touches. The figure distances herself from the everyday image of a bather at the beach (which can be probably identified as the shore of Trégastel in Brittany) and is reminiscent of a classical Venus. The iconographic reference to the survival of classical heritage coexists with the modern brushstrokes used to reproduce the figure’’’’ s complexion. The artist’’’’s brushstrokes become yet more determined in his rendering of the sea and the white borders of the waves. The red touches to the left of the canvas contribute to drawing the viewer’’’’s attention to this work, which foreshadows the artist’’’’ s future development towards the abstract avant-garde movements of the early twentieth century. The artist begins to distance himself from Figurativism, hinting at the presence of cloths left on the cliff only by means of colours and brushstrokes.
Auction: Sotheby's -Nov 6, 2015 - New-yorkLot number: 425
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Frantiek Kupka 1871-1957 ÉTUDE POUR "PRINTEMPS COSMIQUES" Signed Kupka (lower center) Gouache and watercolor on paper 12 5/8 by 12 3/8 in. 32.1 by 31.3 cm Executed circa 1913-14. Read Condition Report Read Condition Report Register or Log-in to view condition report Saleroom Notice Authentication The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Pierre Brullé. Provenance Galerie Karl Flinker, Paris Royal S. Marks, New York (and sold: Sotheby's, London, December 1, 1993, lot 217) Galerie Gmurzynska, Zurich (acquired at the above sale) Acquired from the above Exhibited Zurich, Gimpel & Hanover Galerie, Kupka, 1976, no. 14 New York, Jeffrey Hoffeld & Co., Kupka, 1985, no. 447
Auction: Sotheby's -Dec 15, 2014 - New-yorkLot number: 71
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Frantiek Kupka 1871 - 1957 UNTITLED Stamped Kupka (lower right) Pencil on paper 6 7/8 by 5 3/8 in. 17.6 by 13.7 cm Read Condition Report Read Condition Report Register or Log-in to view condition report Saleroom Notice Authentication The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Pierre Brullé. Executed on cream wove paper laid down on thick wove paper. The left edge is very slightly irregular. Otherwise, apart from some time-darkening and some faint studio stains, this work is in very good condition. In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
Auction: Sotheby's -Nov 12, 2014 - LondonLot number: 58
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František Kupka 1871-1957 CZECH ANDRÉE SE DÉSHABILLANT signed Kupka lower right oil on canvas 41 by 33cm., 16¼ by 13in. Read Condition Report Read Condition Report Register or Log-in to view condition report Saleroom Notice Authentication The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Pierre Brullé. Provenance Andrée Martinel (daughter of the artist) Galerie Karl Flinker, Paris Private Collection, France Salis & Vertes, Zurich Purchased from the above by the present owner Literature Ludmila Vachtová, Frank Kupka, London, 1968, p. 295, no. 70, catalogued (as Study of Andrée); p. 301, illustrated Painted in 1908.
Auction: Sotheby's -Nov 12, 2014 - LondonLot number: 1
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František Kupka 1871-1957 CZECH (I) ETUDE POUR BLANC ET NOIR: PRINTEMPS COSMIQUE (II) COMPOSITION ABSTRAITE (i) signed Kupka lower centre (ii) signed Kupka lower right (i) brush and ink and gouache on paper (ii) watercolour and brush and ink over pencil on paper (i) 13 by 21cm., 5¼ by 8¼in.; (ii) 7 by 7cm., 2¾ by 2¾in. (composition size); 16.5 by 17.5cm., 6½ by 7in. (sheet size) (2; framed as one) Read Condition Report Read Condition Report Register or Log-in to view condition report Saleroom Notice Authentication The authenticity of both works has been confirmed by Pierre Brullé. Provenance Christian de Rabaudy; (his estate sale: Cornette de Saint-Cyr, 23 November 2003, lot 184 (i) & lot 191 (ii) Galerie Pallas, Prague Purchased from the above circa 1994 Exhibited (i) Houston, Cullen Collection, 2011, no. 3, illustrated in the catalogue INTRODUCTION Czech Avant-Garde Art: Property from the Collection of Roy & Mary Cullen From Prague to Paris Multi-media in scope, the remarkable and wide ranging collection of Czech avant garde art that Roy and Mary Cullen have built up sheds a fascinating and revelatory light on the artistic community in Prague between the First and the Second World Wars, and life in Paris thereafter. Focused on the work of Karel Teige, Jindrich Štyrský and, in particular, Toyen (Marie Čermínová) and their close associations with such writers as Vitězslav Nezval and Jindřich Heisler, the collection encompasses paintings, watercolours, drawings, collages, prints and photographs, books and periodicals. Genesis of the Collection Introduced to the work of Czech artists of the period during their first trip to Prague in 1989, Roy and Mary's visit coincided with the breakup of the Soviet Union, the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia. By chance, that same autumn the Houston Museum of Fine Art was also showing their landmark exhibition: Czech Modernism 1900-1945. Galvanised by their first hand experience of political events (including meeting Václav Havel), the serendipitous opportunity to study the development of Czech avant garde back home in Texas, and Mary's natural curiosity combined with Ray's unstinting support, they embarked on a collecting spree that would last for the next two decades. Devětsil and the Collective Acquisitions focused on works executed after the First World War. Parallel with the political, economic and social upheavals that were transforming Europe, Czech artists explored new ways to define their surroundings. The most politicised of them was Karel Teige who co-formed the group Devětsil, with fellow artists Josef Šima, Štyrský, Toyen and Alois Wachsmann, the poet Nezval and others. Both a wild flower, and a reference to concentrated power, the name Devětsil embraced both a post-war call for artistic renewal, and the intrinsic strength to be gained from constructive collaboration, a reflection of the group's left wing political views and - led by Teige - their support of Communism. Teige and Poetism Influenced by the technological advances of photography and film, Teige renounced traditional painting. Instead he embraced the process of mechanical reproduction, and the power of artistic synergy across a range of disciplines - poetry, prose, painting, photography, music and film among them - to form Poetism. Transcending any single discipline, the aesthetic melded words with image, and encouraged collective endeavour and enjoyment. Central to it was the picture-poem, a style that combined elements of Constructivism with a form of Poetism inspired by the French poet Apollinaire. Teige published the first Manifesto of Poetism in Prague in 1924, (six months before the First Surrealist Manifesto appeared in France). A classic expression of the new multi-disciplinary endeavour of Poetism was the publication of Abeceda ( lots 32 & 33; see inside front cover). Light in spirit, the book of poems and images was written by Nezval, interpreted visually by Hugo Boettinger, acted out dramatically by dancer Mayerová, photographed by Karel Paspa and designed by Teige. Štyrský, Toyen and Artificialism In 1925 Štyrský and Toyen joined fellow Devétsil member Josef Šima in Paris. There they explored a painterly programme that would build on the essence of Poetism; while to make ends meet they wrote and designed a tourist guide to Paris ( lot 17 ). They called their new aesthetic Artificialism, a style driven by an individual's reminiscences, independent of memory, and linked to poetry. As well as a conscious reaction to prevailing Parisian interest in Surrealism and Abstraction, the style also offered a new take on the more functional elements of Poetism and Constructivism. Their imagery drew upon the primordial: on forms from the the sea, caves, labyrinths and forests. ( lot 9 ).Štyrský and Toyen held the first of a series of Artificialist exhibitions in their studio in the spring of 1926. The Prague - Paris Axis As the decade progressed, the Czech avantgarde and Paris Surrealist axis grew inexorably closer. Prague artists looked to Paris, and artists in Paris were fascinated and intrigued to visit and exhibit in Prague. In 1927 Šima became a founding member of the French Surrealist group Le Grand jeu. But the watershed moment was the publication of the Second Surrealist Manifesto in 1929. In it André Breton announced the movement's support for the Communist party in France. Now the Czech and Paris artists shared a common political agenda as well as similar aesthetic ideas. And immediately thereafter translations of texts by the leading voices of the Surrealists - André Breton, Luis Aragon and Paul Eluard - began to appear in Czech publications including the Devétsil journal ReD edited by Teige ( lot 15 ). And in the early 1930s Štyrský founded two publications: The Erotic Review and Edition 69 ( lots 34 & 37 ). Štyrský's interest in sexual taboo mirrored those of the Paris Surrealist's including the writings of Aragon and Benjamin Péret, the photographs of Man Ray and Salvador Dali's erotic drawings. This reaches its strongest expression in the photo montages with which he illustrated his short story Emily comes to me in a Dream of 1933 ( lot 39 ). Foundation of the Czech Surrealist Group In 1932 the international exhibition Poetry opened at the Mánes Society of artists in Prague. It was the most significant exhibition to feature Surrealist works ever held outside Paris. It included works by Jean Arp, Max Ernst, Dali, Joan Miro, André Masson and Yves Tanguy, alongside those of Šima, Štyrský, Toyen and Alois Wachsmann among others. And it precipitated the foundation of the Czech Surrealist Group two years later, led by Štyrský and Toyen. To cement the accord the following year, in 1935, André Breton and Paul Eluard visited Prague at the time of The First Czech Surrealist Exhibition and published the first volume of the International Bulletin of Surrealism there. Štyrský in the 1930s Many of the jewels in the Cullen Collection are the fruit of such constructive dialogues and collaborations, with a clutch of key works dating from the flowering of the Czech and Paris artists' Surrealist union in the mid-1930s. Chief amongst these are the works by Štyrský and Toyen. Štyrský's collages in the collection are from his influential series The Portable Cabinet ( lots 5 & 8 ) of 1934. All sixty-six works were exhibited The First Czech Surrealist Exhibition. Likewise his enigmatic painting Roots of the same year was one of a group of oils that he completed on this theme. Given by Štyrský to André Breton, it was shown at the International Surrealist Exhibition in London in 1936. ( lot 19 ). Toyen and The Message of the Forest The major painting by Toyen in the collection, The Message of the Forest, is also from this critically important period. Painted in 1936 it is not just one of Toyen's largest paintings, but arguably her most important, its haunting form a major addition to the Surrealist canon. In subject and style the painter references the work of Max Ernst. But in its extraordinary expression of the power of Nature and its ultimate hold over the human conscience, the composition clearly transcends any particular debt. Instead Toyen makes this image of discarded humanity, wounded avatar, and dense deformed vegetation uniquely her own, and in the process conjures up one of the truly great and utterly original Surrealist images of the day ( lot 24; see catalogue cover). War and Exodus to Paris With the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1938, and the outbreak of the Second World War, Surrealism was classified as degenerate. Štyrský, Toyen, and Teige withdrew from public life, and the movement went underground. During the war Štyrský died of pneumonia, but afterwards Teige and Toyen resumed their endeavours. Teige developed his idiosyncratic use of collage, the example in the Cullen Collection of a lady's inverted stockinged legs thrust suggestively from the wing of a British fighter plane, being particularly striking ( lot 12; see catalogue back cover). Toyen, meanwhile, moved to Paris with the poet Jindřich Heisler, where she became an active member of the Surrealist circle of artists and poets there. Working alongside Breton, she painted likenesses a her distinctive portrait of him ( lot 28 ), his profile set within three overlapping triangles and surrounded by symbols of the elements. Executed on the eve of his fifty-fourth birthday and dedicated to him. Toyen and the 1960s and 70s In 1953 Heisler died. A generation younger than Štyrský and Toyen, he had been assimilated into the Czech Surrealist group in the late 1930s, and had collaborated with both artists on a succession of projects including The Specters of the Desert ( lot 41 ). During the War years he was forced to hide in Toyen's apartment; afterwards he assisted in the exhibition Surréalisme in Paris and Prague. In 1966 Breton died. But as Toyen's artistic associates of the pre-War years wained, Toyen took up with a new group of younger avant-garde artists and writers in Paris. Continuing to innovate, she worked with the poet and dramatist Radovan Ivšič. A native of Zagreb, he joined Breton's group in the post-War years, and worked with Toyen on such works as Le puits dans le tour. Débris de rêves in 1967 ( lot 43 ). The same year Toyen also collaborated with the young French poet Annie Le Brun, who had joined the Surrealist group in Paris in 1963. Together they published Sur-le-champ (Right Now) ( lot 107 ), and the two continued to work together for the following decade, Toyen's last book project being for Le Brun's poetry collection Annulaire de la lune (Moon Ring-Finger) of 1977 ( lot 113 ). The only female artist at the forefront of the Czech Surrealist group, Toyen was one of a distinguished coterie of leading female artists in International Surrealism - Kay Sage, Leonor Fini, Dorothea Tanning and Leonora Carrington among them. With her death in 1980 a period of unprecedented artistic activity and influence in Central Europe came to a close. But in the Cullen Collection many of the different strands that made this time so vital live on, a ferment of artists, poets and writers from Prague that left their indelible mark on the development of Modernism during the twentieth century.