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Lot 0108
Watercolor on paper abstract expressionist painting. Signed and attr. Frantisek Kupka (Czech, 1871-1957) on lower right edge of painting. 11 x 8.75 in (27.9 x 22.2 cm). František Kupka was born on September 23, 1871, in Opocno in eastern Bohemia. From 1889 to 1892 he studied at the Prague Art Academy. During this time he painted historical and patriotic themes. In 1892, Kupka enrolled at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna, where he concentrated on symbolic and allegorical subjects. He exhibited at the Kunstverein, Vienna, in 1894. His involvement with theosophy and Eastern philosophy dates from this period. By spring 1896 Kupka had settled in Paris; there he attended the Académie Julian briefly and then studied with Jean-Pierre Laurens at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Kupka worked as an illustrator of books and posters and, during his early years in Paris, became known for his satirical drawings for newspapers and magazines. In 1906 he settled in Puteaux, a suburb of Paris, and that same year exhibited for the first time at the Salon d’Automne. Kupka was deeply impressed by the first Futurist manifesto, published in 1909 in Le Figaro. Kupka’s work became increasingly abstract around 1910–11, reflecting his theories of motion, color, and the relationship between music and painting. In 1911 he attended meetings of the Puteaux group. In 1912 he exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in the Cubist room, although he did not wish to be identified with any movement. Creation in the Plastic Arts, a book Kupka completed in 1913, was published in Prague in 1923. In 1921 his first solo show in Paris was held at Galerie Povolozky. In 1931 he became a founding member of Abstraction-Création together with Jean Arp, Albert Gleizes, Jean Hélion, Auguste Herbin, Theo van Doesburg, and Georges Vantongerloo. In 1936 his work was included in the exhibition Cubism and Abstract Art at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and in an important show with Alphonse Mucha at the Jeu de Paume, Paris. A retrospective of his work took place at the Galerie S.V.U. Mánes in Prague in 1946. That same year Kupka participated in the Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, Paris, where he continued to exhibit regularly until his death. During the early 1950s he gained general recognition and had several solo shows in New York. Kupka died in Puteaux on June 24, 1957. Retrospectives were held at the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris, in 1958 and at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 1975. PROVENANCE: Upper New York Estate


All authorship of items in this catalog are described according to the following terms:

By [Artist Name] : In our opinion, the work is by the artist.

Attributed to [Artist Name] : In our opinion, the work may be ascribed to the artist on the basis of style, but there may be some question as to actual authorship.

In the manner of [Artist Name] : In our opinion, the work was executed by an unknown hand, but was designed deliberately to emulate the style of the artist.

After [Artist Name] : In our opinion, the work was executed by an unknown hand, but is a deliberate copy of a known work by the artist.

Circle of [Artist Name] : In our opinion, a work of the period of the artist showing his influence, closely associated with the artist but not necessarily his pupil.

Follower of [Artist Name]: In our opinion, a work by a pupil or a follower of the artist (not necessarily a pupil).

American, 19th century : In our opinion, this work was executed by an unknown hand, and can only be identified by origin (i.e., region, period).

Bears signature : In our opinion, the signature on the artwork may be spurious.
Apocryphal : Of doubtful authenticity.

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Frantisek Kupka 1871-1957 Czech Watercolor Abstrac

Estimate $2,000 - $4,000
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