April 14, 2017

Block Printmaker Kupka

        František Kupka (Czech, 1871-1957) was a painter during that wild and crazy artistic period when romantic realism was giving way to a roiling ferment of Art Nouveau, Futurism, Cubism, color theory, and a new art -ism every year.  He became one of the first of the European artists to produce purely abstract work, and I have for you today a couple examples of his abstract wood block prints.  Printmaking was an unusual medium for Kupka, but he chose it for a series of 26 pieces entitled “Four Stories in Black and White”  (or “Four Stories of White and Black,” depending on the translation.)  The “stories” are essentially visual themes and variations, in which Kupka developed his theories about abstraction.
        I really like the contrast of solid white, solid black, and pattern in the first one here, which is my favorite of the whole series, I think.  The second piece evokes something of dynamism, as if the triangles are flying around and ricocheting off the edges of the block.  I don’t expect ever to become a convert to the church of abstraction, but I do like some of Kupka’s work very much.

        And here’s the digest of previously-featured K printmakers:

[Pictures: Plate 16 from Four Stories in White and Black by František Kupka, 1926;
Plate 11 from Four Stories in White and Black by Kupka, 1926 (Images from  frantisekkupka.eu).]

A-Z Challenge, all posts for the letter K


Kristin said...

I like the second one too. It sort of draws me downwards.
Finding Eliza

Sharon Himsl said...

The second one is more striking with the contrast. I wonder if Picasso made prints. I'm reminded of his abstracts.

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Picasso did make prints, mostly linoleum, but none purely abstract, as far as I know. You can search "Picasso" in the sidebar for a few, or wait for him to be in the printmaker digest under the letter P. (But with my modified A-Z schedule, I won't get to P until April 26.)