František Kupka (1871-1957)

František Kupka, also known as Franz Kupka, born in Opočno, was a Czech painter and one of the pioneers of abstraction, like Vassily Kandinsky, Gino Severini, Piet Mondrian, Kasimir Malevich, Auguste Herbin and Robert Delaunay. By exhibiting two large non-figurative paintings at the Salon d'Automne in 1912, Kupka revealed himself as one of the main protagonists of abstract painting. This was the first time that non-figurative works were exhibited in France and the reviews were negative. However, his canvases, with their colourful and musical rhythms, now vibrate with the energy, movement and fluidity of life. In 1931, the artist was invited by Theo van Doesburg to found an international society of non-figurative artists, called L'AssociationAbstraction-Création, with Hans Arp, Auguste Herbin, Alberto Giacometti and Jean Hélion. He was a member of the steering committee. In 1946, he participated in the first Salon des Réalités Nouvelles, where he exhibited regularly until his death, and the Salon paid tribute to him in 1953. In the course of his eighty-five years of life, he experienced many changes in art, but he always retained his independence and freedom from all these major artistic movements. A pioneer of abstraction, he always refused to be called an "abstract artist" and explained that painting was something concrete through colour, form and dynamics.
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