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Bohumil Kubišta / Hypnotist

1912

The painting Hypnotist, which he painted in 1912, is one of the best canvases of Kubišta’s brief but substantial oeuvre. Painted in the spirit of Cubism it also conceals within it tangible elements of Futurism. The sharp and almost technically tuned features of the hypnotist and his patient abound with energy. With its dark contours and colours the painting is balanced and executed with a clear vision and confidence. Not surprisingly, therefore, it is a work that is eagerly sought after not only among Czech but also foreign curators.

KUBIŠTA BOHUMIL

Gifted from an early age, Bohumil Kubišta studied at the School of Applied Arts in Prague and later at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague in the studio of Vlaho Bukovac. He failed to complete his studies, however. He was one of the founders of the Osma group; after sharp disagreements with some of the group’s members he left on a study trip abroad. He spent 1910 mostly in Paris but also in Germany where he became a member of the influential Die Brücke group. He joined the army in 1913 for purely economic reasons. He served in the south of Europe at Pula in Istria, where he fought in World War I as an artilleryman. After the war he returned to Prague where he died shortly after from Spanish flu. Like most of his contemporaries Kubišta’s oeuvre was influenced by a number of artists. But however much he was fascinated by El Greco, Paul Cézanne or Pablo Picasso, Kubišta approached painting in his own distinctive way. His principal works were created according to compositional principles that were thoroughly thought through. His search for perfect order in painting was assisted by unparallelled and virtually inimitable work with colour. Soon after he died, Kubišta’s painting became legendary and inspired not only the Devětsil group but also a whole number of artists of subsequent generations.
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