František Kupka

Study for "Amorpha, Warm Chromatism" and for "Fugue in Two Colors"

ca. 1910–11

The present pastel study reveals an early stage in the formal evolution of two of Frantisek Kupka’s earliest purely abstract compositions. This pastel relates to a series of studies that followed a naturalistic painting of 1908-09 of his stepdaughter Andrée playing naked with a red-and-blue ball in the garden of their home. Kupka articulated the girl’s motion by depicting the continuous penetration of the atmosphere by the ball. A curving brown body shape guides the ball through the blue path of its trajectory. This action occurs on a light green background plane, which suggests the three-dimensional space of the garden. Kupka discerned a musical parallel to these abstract forms in the rhythmic patterns of the fugue. Kupka’s paintings of this period are not simple or formulaic abstractions from ultimate “sources” in nature, but are rather pictorial syntheses of the artist’s formal ideas.

Artist František Kupka
Original Title Amorpha, Chromatique chaude, Fugue à deux couleurs
Date ca. 1910–11
Medium Pastel on paper
Dimensions 46.8 x 48.3 cm
Credit line Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice (Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York)
Accession 76.2553 PG 13
Collection Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Type Work on paper

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