The view of the city through the window is typical fascination with the modern urban age. The sky above the city is optimistically blue and the apartment houses are in thorough geometrical harmony with the overall concept. Kotík drew inspiration from the pre-war modernist tradition but his works from the Group 42 period are remarkable for his own very distinctive inventiveness and poetry. The colouration of the entire scene powerfully emphasizes the contrasting mood between the interior and the exterior. The impression of two related but divided worlds blending into each other is achieved by the artist almost perfectly.
Jan Kotík studied at the School of Applied Art in Prague under Professor Jaroslav Benda (1935−1941). Soon afterwards he became a member of Group 42, whose art was typically inspired by the urban landscape, modern civilisation and city outskirts as being where ordinary people lived. Kotík’s oeuvre underwent striking development. At the turn of the 1960s he focused on geometrical abstraction and later made use of calligraphic signs in his works. He also engaged in artistic glassmaking, creating a stained-glass window for the Brussels Exhibition in 1958. After spending time in Britain and France he emigrated to Germany in 1969.
The painting Interior with Sunray Lamp is an outstanding example of his paintings from the 1940s, the high point of his creative activity. As a member of Group 42, Kotík’s oeuvre was inspired by Jindřich Chalupecký’s essay The World We Live In. The principles enounced therein are fully reflected in the painting from 1944, which encapsulates Kotík’s attitude to painting and the world around him at that time. The figure in the simple and starkly conceived interior is influenced by the principles of Abstract Expressionism.
The Hradec Králové Master / The Virgin Mary with SS Barbara and Catherine