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House of Art
TUE–SUN / 10:00–18:00

Augustin Handzel / Girl with a Cigarette

1929

Evidence of Gutfreund’ s inspiration are the statues of miners from 1926 on the lateral façade of the Elektra Building in Moravská Ostrava, as well as the sculpture Girl with a Cigarette, which reflects the artist’s interest in the subjective interpretation of the human figure. There is a lightness about the work that alludes to Hanzel’s experience of ceramics that is reflected in the figure’s graceful curves.

HANDZEL AUGUSTIN

Although he showed talent both as a painter and a sculptor, Handzel opted to study sculpture. In 1908 he became a pupil of Professor Josef Drahoňovský at the School of Applied Art in Prague, subsequently attending the course run by Stanislav Sucharda. He did not complete his studies, however, and left for Vienna where he worked in a majolica factory for the Goldscheider company. In 1913 Handzel returned to Ostrava where he set up a plastering firm, but the business soon ended in liquidation. Three years later he was conscripted into the army and spent the rest of the war at Wawel in Poland along with Dušan Jurkovič designing monuments to the fallen on the Eastern front. In the 1920s he worked on public commissions, mostly sculptures on a social theme largely inspired by the Civilist art of Otto Gutfreund. In the 1930s Handzel was one of the progressive artists of the Ostrava region, alongside Vladimír Kristin, Jan Sládek and Bohumír Dvorský. After a brief excursion into Cubism, Handzel’s sculptures in the 1940s acquired an element of abstraction, and the play of light and shade became more pronounced, lending them a greater sense of space and enhancing their expressiveness. In the 1950s Handzel’s output conformed in terms of concept and form to the prevailing demands of socialist realism.
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Domenico Fetti / Adonis

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