Otto Gutfreund / Breaking Point
The ‘breaking point’ of the exhibition’s title is the boundary between two creative phases in the career of the sculptor Otto Gutfreund, one of the most talented representatives of Czech modernism. In his pre-war works, Gutfreund applied methods of Cubist painting to sculpture – an inherently challenging task. A cubist painting lays bare the fact that anything we observe can only be seen within the bounds of our restricted physical (optical) abilities – we can never see it in its entirety. There is no single empirically knowable truth about the world. This is why Cubist painting presents us with images depicting an object or face viewed from various angles simultaneously, combined into a single compositional entity. Cubism represented a radical break with the centuries-old Renaissance tradition of mimesis, and with the artistic use of linear perspective and illusive three-dimensionality. The illusive nature of painting (as an imitation of its subject) was replaced by an autonomous aesthetic which worked with representations of surfaces, simultaneity and stylized (internalized) interpretations of the subjects depicted. These innovations were developed primarily in painting, and transferring them into the medium of sculpture was a highly complicated problem, for one simple reason: by its very nature, sculpture is three-dimensional.
Guided tour with curator
Only in Czech