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This lot has been imported from outside of the UK … Read more PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE SWISS COLLECTION

Étude pour "Conte de Pistils et d'étamines"

Étude pour "Conte de Pistils et d'étamines"
signed 'Kupka' (lower left)
watercolour on paper
15 1/2 x 12 1/2 in. (39.3 x 31 cm.)
Executed circa 1922-1925
Anonymous sale, Artcurial, Paris, 2 June 2015, lot 1.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Special notice
This lot has been imported from outside of the UK for sale and placed under the Temporary Admission regime. Import VAT is payable at 5% on the hammer price. VAT at 20% will be added to the buyer’s premium but will not be shown separately on our invoice.
Further details
Please note that the authenticity of this work has been kindly confirmed by Pierre Brullé.
Sale room notice
Please note that the correct medium of the work is watercolour on paper and not as stated in the printed catalogue.

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Imogen Kerr Vice President, Senior Specialist, Co-head of 20th Century Evening Sale

Lot Essay

The Czech painter Kupka spent much of his career in Paris where he identified the need for a form of art beyond the modernists and academics dominating the Parisian art scene at the turn of the century. With the outbreak of World War I, Kupka enlisted with the Allies before eventually being wounded at the front and returning to Paris. In the years following, Kupka worked feverishly towards developing his abstract style, exploring a number of themes including the hard geometric forms of machinery, the more fluid shapes of biology and nature, and the relationship between the terrestrial world and the cosmos beyond.

This study comes from the early 1920’s, the most prolific and inspired period of his career. The series ‘Conte de Pistils et d’étamines’ was one of Kupka’s most ambitious series of paintings, and this flashing, vibrant watercolour perfectly captures the ingenious method with which Kupka translated the most fundamental forms of nature into paint. The oils that this work was a study for are in different museums in Europe, most notably the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris.

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