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Kupka's Reader - a rare, hitherto unknown work and the author's earliest figure painting that the auction market has so far recognized

František Kupka undoubtedly belongs to the golden fund not only of Czech, but also of world art, which is reflected both in the interest of collectors in his works and in a number of theoretical publications that have so far dealt in depth with his person and work. For both of these camps, it is such a big celebration when a work appears, which is separated by a period of almost 130 years from its creation to the present, and which was still unknown to the professional community. Kupkova's Reader is just such a work, which not only adds a new shining stone to the mosaic of the author's stylistic development, but is also the author's oldest figurative painting that the art market has so far recognized.

It is certainly no coincidence that it appears at an auction in the Czech Republic, which is the primary auction environment for Kupka and thus offers potentially the highest valuation - its inclusion in the KODL Gallery's auction program is no less significant. She has been dealing with this author for a long time and brokered two of the four highest sales of his paintings in the global auction market, while in the Czech Republic she is completely at the forefront with the works Divertimento II and Plochy příčné II.

It is also interesting that not only within this most prized facet of Kupka's work, but also in his pre-abstract creative period, the KODL Gallery occupies a leading position in the sale of the author's figural compositions. Kupkova Čtenářka thus has a great chance to complement the trio of oils with the names White Horse, Pink Hat and Bathing, which, not only from the point of view of art history, but also from the point of view of hammer prices, shone brightly at the last hall auctions of the KODL Gallery.

Kupka's Reader demonstrates how the young artist masterfully mastered academic painting, in which he celebrated great success already at the salons in Vienna, including as a skilled portraitist of the Viennese aristocracy. The work most likely dates from the end of Kupko's stay in Vienna, or it could have been created as one of the very first after he moved to Paris. There is no doubt that this is a real discovery of high collector appeal and sensual qualities, which organically fits into the line of the author's rapid artistic development.

In addition to this unprecedented display of Kupka's early work, the spring auction of the KODL Gallery presents the author with two more works that, as a whole, confirm the rich thematic and artistic breadth of his artistic portfolio. The first is the cover design for Kupka's theoretical treatise Creation in Fine Art, in which Kupka (like Wassily Kandinsky), as a leading pioneer of abstract painting, dealt with the sources of his new artistic direction. The second is the Design of Legionary Battalion VI. regiment, with which Kupka also strongly contributed to the creation of the original visual style of the nascent new state and which demonstrates the essential patriotic dimension that he developed as an organizer of legionary groups in France.

The three above-mentioned works represent a rare collecting opportunity and can be viewed at the pre-auction exhibition of the KODL Gallery, which is open every day until May 27, 2023. Their auction will take place on May 28 as part of the 89th auction at the Žofín Palace and simultaneously at auction portal Artslimit.

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Auction Artslimit online 7
Auction Artslimit online 7
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Results of the 90th auction
Results of the 90th auction
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