František Kupka (Sept. 23, 1871 – June 24, 1957), also known as Frank Kupka or François Kupka; pioneer and co-founder of the early phases of the abstract art movement and Orphic cubism (Orphism). Kupka's abstract works arose from a base of realism, but later evolved into pure abstract art.

Studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague, where he painted historical and patriotic themes. Enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, where he concentrated on symbolic and allegorical subjects. Influenced by painter and social reformer Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach and his naturalistic life-style.

Worked as an illustrator of books and posters and... became known for his satirical drawings for newspapers and magazines..... His 1909 painting Piano Keyboard/Lake marked a break in his representational style. His work became increasingly abstract around 1910–11, reflecting his theories of motion,

In 1931, he was a founding member of Abstraction-Création. In the early 1950s he gained general recognition and had several solo shows in New York.

He had a strong interest in color theory and freeing colors from descriptive associations (which is thought to have possibly influenced other artists like Robert Delaunay). Margit Rowell described his painting The Yellow Scale as his "first attempt to come to terms with color theory in which the result is both personal and successful". Although a self portrait, the subject of the painting was the color yellow. Around 1910 he began developing his own color wheels, adapting a format previously explored by Isaac Newton and Hermann von Helmholtz. This work in turn led Kupka to execute a series of paintings he called Discs of Newton. (

Kupka wasn’t understood during his life time as most of geniuses. Nowadays, together with Kandinsky and Malevich, he i considered one of founders of abstract painting. (
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First Collected by

Alberto Saav


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