The 120th birth anniversary of František Matoušek

The Czech painter and graphic artist František Matoušek (1901 Vysoké Mýto ⁠–⁠ 1961 Prague) was born 120 years ago. In Matoušek’s paintings, the elementary geometric forms and colour planes create harmonious as well as dissonant compositions, imbued with an intense poetic charge inspired by the modern urban environment and his activity in the Devětsil Modern Culture Association. In the 1920s and ‘30s, Matoušek rendered the ideas of Constructivism in a distinct creative style of his own. In his work, he gradually absorbed the influences of Cubism, Purism, Poetism and Surrealism, and of artists such as László Moholy-Nagy, El Lisickij and Josef Šíma. František Matoušek pursued his artistic career not only in Prague, but also Paris. In London, he co-founded and headed the Czechoslovak School of Applied Art, and painted and exhibited in New York. In 1945, an article was published in the Czech-language Newyorské listy (New York Paper) that summarized Matoušek’s oeuvre to date as follows: “His images poetically transform reality into paintings, in a condensed, almost fairy-tale-like way, in symbolic projection, capturing all the beauties of the world, from all places around Europe that he so restlessly travelled.”
František Matoušek: Nocturno (1934), shown in the permanent exhibition 1918⁠–⁠1938: The First Czechoslovak Republic, Trade Fair Palace