Cubisti, cubismo

Cubisti, cubismo

The Director of the Institute of Art History, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Prof. Vojtěch Lahoda, was involved in the preparation of the international exhibition Cubisti Cubismo, which is open from 8 March to 23 June 2013 at the Complesso Monumentale del Vittoriano in Rome. The curator, Charlotte N. Eyerman, an art historian from Los Angeles, planned it as a wide-ranging survey of Cubists and Cubism, from Picasso, through Russian artists, to figures from the USA (Max Weber) and Great Britain (Wyndham Lewis). She presented Cubism as a trend that eventually influenced all local schools, and emphasised the spread of Cubism into decorative art, architecture (Czech examples were at least shown in photographs and a model of Chochol’s house in Neklanova Street), and into film. Czech participation in the exhibition suffers as a result of the well-known restriction on lending works of art, due to the unresolved case of Diag Human. Czech paintings are therefore represented by a single work, František Foltýn’s Portrait of Dostojevsky from 1922.

In the exhibition catalogue, which has the same title and is published by the SKIRA publishing house, Vojtěch Lahoda considers the “forgotten” Cubism to the east of Paris (C´era una volta l´Est: il cubismo perduto, pp. 85–101). The focus is understandably on Cubism in the Czech lands, which is examined by means of terms such as “remake” or “transfer”. Apart from its emphasis on the Czech setting, the strategy of communication with Paris, and ways of obtaining photographs of the most up-to-date developments, the article also stresses the Cubist “heterogeneous” exploits in Polish, Latvian, Hungarian, and Romanian Modernism. Mention is made of solitary artists, such as the Lithuanian Vytautas Kairiūkštis, whose Cubist Composition from 1921 is reproduced in the catalogue, together with Kubišta’s Hypnotiser (1912) from the Gallery of Fine Arts in Ostrava and Filla’s The Head of an Old Man (1914) from the West Bohemian Gallery in Plzeň. The catalogue contains studies, published only in Italian, by Charlotte Eyerman, David Cottington, Kenneth E. Silver, Christopher Reed, William H. Robinson, Nina Gurianova, Vojtěch Lahoda, Simonetta Lux and Massimiliano Lopez.

 

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