New York

Frantisek Kupka

Denise René Gallery

In the retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum and the concurrent exhibition of drawings at Denise Rene, graphic work emerges as an important element in Czech-born French émigré pioneer abstractionist Frantisek Kupka’s oeuvre. Throughout most of his career he partially supported himself through realistic black and white book illustration in the Viennese Secessionist style. These illustrations, plus studies for his early figurative paintings, are seen only at the Guggenheim.

In the early years of the 20th century he made an extensive series of drawings for his first abstract paintings—The Fugues and Amorphas. The drawings, and by extension the paintings, begin as abstractions from nature and were Kupka’s attempt to fuse his practical and sensual knowledge of figures in motion. There are several sources for his interest in moving bodies. He was interested in science and read extensively the

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