© Adagp, Paris 2018 © Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid

František Kupka was one of the great pioneers of abstract art at the beginning of the 20th Century. His work was first met with rejection of conventional representation.

© Adagp, Paris 2018 © Centre Pompidou, MNAM / CCI, Dist. Rmn-Grand Palais / DR

This very unusual exhibition traces his early works including works for the press and then continues until the post-war era.

© Adagp, Paris 2018 © Prague Castle Administration / Photo Jan Gloc

In the late 19th and early 20th century, he created several graphic works for the press in different countries. He referred to this as his “bread and butter”. These works made him famous in Paris and also in his home country of Austria.

© Adagp, Paris 2018 © National Gallery in Prague 2018

Colors convey emotions and then become dynamic and eventually outweighing the subject and focusing on colors.

© Adagp, Paris 2018 © Centre Pompidou, MNAM / CCI,
Dist. Rmn-Grand Palais / DR

Kupka, in 1919  began a series that he called “Shapes and structures of colors”. The geometrical language eliminates the boundaries between visible and invisible.

Crowds stand in line to view this exhibition which is at the Grand Palais until July 30, 2018.  It is interesting to see how his work evolved over time.

© Adagp, Paris 2018 © Musées de Strasbourg / Photo
N. Fussler

This exhibition has been organized by the Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais in partnership with the Centre Pompidou, Paris, the Národní Galerie v Praze, Prague, and the Ateneum Art Museum, Helsii.

© Adagp, Paris 2018 © Digital image, The Museum of
Modern Art, MoMA, New York / Scala, Florence

This exhibition is organized with the support of KPMG, the Eiffage Infrastructures Branch and Fondation Louis Roederer.

© Adagp, Paris 2018 © Rmn-Grand Palais


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  1. Kupka may be a good study of how society and markets prevent the freedom for artists. I have a feeling he would consider Degas and Rembrandt drunken whores with no conscience. ‘Bread and butter” is the restrictive antithesis to expression without consideration for outside influence. So, like so many others, he could not express, until the banal was taken from the work. His consternation, looks like the balance between time rolled up, and time unfurled. The machine or mechanization, as opposed to raw fluid and balance. The woman in the water, has a heart as light as a feather, and is balanced. The raw idea is a glimpse, and to stop color and observe shape of it, requires the ability to stop time. It is the confusion of being in the proximity of the god head, the entry point of the constant flow. He would have loved video and the ability to stop or play.

    • btw,.. I don’t see his work as cubism, at least not in it’s purist form. He can legally employ it because of mastery. But, Picasso is the bar, and the anchor, for it is his time, Kupka is upstream from the waterfall. The still place where things are weighed and observed closely. In the current , Alan Hirsch for all his stubbornness and unlikeable character, has done some portraits with a raw cubism. He still owes me 800 dollars.

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