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House of Art
TUE–SUN / 10:00–18:00

Marie Čermínová – Toyen / Lake Landscape

1929

The picture Lake Landscape is one of her lyrically poetic works. Toyen strove to capture dream scenes. The dreamlike landscape with the greeny-blue surface of the water in the back- ground and a dominant black rock formation is typical of the artist’s dream period, which lasted from the mid-1920s to the early 1930s. The organic shapes emerging from the surface of the water like some unknown plants are also a frequent phenomenon in Toyen’s oeuvre in that phase. The Surrealist basis of the picture is particularly powerful and it dates from her key artistic period.

TOYEN-ČERMÍNOVÁ MARIE

From 1917 to 1922 she studied at the School of Applied Art in Prague in the studio of decorative painting headed by Professor Emanuel Dítě. From the outset she behaved as an exceptionally free woman and a radical one by the standards of the day. A crucial moment in Toyen’s career was her meeting with her future partner and closest friend, the painter Jindřich Štyrský. In 1923 she joined the Devětsil group and the Mánes artists’ association. In 1925 she and Jindřich Štyrský left together for Paris, where they would soon present their own artistic movement that they called Artificialism. The movement oscillated between abstraction and Surrealism and was also inspired by Imaginative Art. On her return from France in 1934 she and Štyrský established the Surrealist Group. She spent the war years in Prague and was forced to work underground with no opportunity to exhibit. After the war she left Czechoslovakia before the Communist dictatorship was established and settled for good in Paris. She continued to associated with the foremost representatives of Surrealism André Breton and Benjamin Péret and she continued to create in the spirit of late Surrealism until the 1970s.
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Domenico Fetti / Adonis

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