By Thomas Ort (auth.)
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Extra resources for Art and Life in Modernist Prague: Karel Čapek and His Generation, 1911–1938
In 1911, a group devoted to the defense and promotion of the new art, the Skupina výtvarných umělců or Visual Artists Group, was founded in Prague. Its members wrote extensively about cubism in their journal Umělecký měsíčník [Art Monthly] and elsewhere, sponsored numerous exhibits of the art in Prague, and facilitated the display of Czech cubist experiments abroad. Between 1912 and 1914, the Skupina organized six exhibits of cubism, five in Prague and one at the Berlin gallery Der Sturm. These shows featured the work not only of Skupina members but also of the style’s founders, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, as well as that of other of its pioneers.
Langer and Kodíček, as Jews, wisely escaped Czechoslovakia in the wake of the Nazi occupation in 1939 and spent the war years in London working with Beneš’s government-in-exile. Peroutka was confined to German prisons and camps for nearly all of the war but had the luck and resources to survive. Josef Čapek was not so fortunate. Having refused entreaties to flee Czechoslovakia in 1939, he was arrested by the Gestapo on September 1 or 2, immediately upon the outbreak of the war, and spent its entire duration in Nazi camps (Dachau, Buchenwald, and Sachsenhausen, among others), dying in its last days sometime after April 9, 1945, at Bergen-Belsen.
If the anecdotal evidence is to be believed, the Czech expatriate community in Paris before the war was uncommonly large. ”13 Only in architecture was the hierarchy of Paris and Vienna reversed. 14 Back in Prague, young Czech artists benefited greatly from the French contacts and collection of the wealthy patron Vincenc Kramář. 8 Karel and Josef Čapek at the Hôtel des Américains, Paris, Spring 1911. Courtesy of Památník národního písemnictví. in modern art and with the help of the renowned Parisian art dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler amassed a spectacular body of cubist works.
Art and Life in Modernist Prague: Karel Čapek and His Generation, 1911–1938 by Thomas Ort (auth.)