The work reproduced here, Picture No. 85 consists of typical kidney-shaped abstract shapes on a blue background. Since 2000 the painting has been shown at a dozen major nationwide exhibitions. It also represented Ostrava at a show organised as part of the city’s bid for the title of European Capital of Culture 2015.
Foltýn trained as a porcelain painter in Plzeň by attending evening classes in applied art taught by Augustin Němejc. In 1913 he entered the School of Applied Art in Prague where his teachers were Arnošt Hofbauer and Emanuel Dítě. The outbreak of war prevented him from finishing the course. He completed his art education in Paris at the Académie Julienne and the Académie Grande Chaumiére (1924−1928). In the course of his career he worked in Košice, the Transcarpathian Ukraine and Prague. In 1922 he helped found the Brno branch of the SVU artists’ group. František Foltýn has been labelled, together with František Kupka, as one of the most significant Czech non-figurative artists. Foltýn’s early works, which reflect in a very interesting way a primitive variant of Neue Sachlichkeit with social content that emerged in eastern Slovakia. Foltýn made an important contribution to the international non-figurative art scene particularly in the years 1924 to 1934, when he was living in Paris. He joined the Cercle et Carré group of abstract artists and the international Abstraction-Création group.
His own distinctive and unmistakable style was part of what can be generally termed as organic abstraction. The titles of his works are often numbers instead of words because wanted to stress that their aesthetic value was not related to the description of nature.
The Hradec Králové Master / The Virgin Mary with SS Barbara and Catherine