Surrealist Arrangement
17.5" x 23.5"
Framed: 27.5" x 31.75"
Painting, Oil on canvas
Estate stamped verso
While in Paris in the early 1920s, Matulka had created a series of fully abstracted compositions heavily based on Cubism. These works were geometrically angular and darkly brooding in feel. Around 1930 Matulka seems to have embarked on a second group of completely abstract works, this time drawing on experiments from his time spent in Gloucester. While still rooted in a Cubist model, these paintings are lighter and more colorful with an emphasis on interlocking curves. By the mid-1930s they had transformed into sinuous, biomorphic figural abstractions.

About the Artist
(1890 - 1972)
Jan Matulka was born in 1890 in a small town southwest of Prague, in what later became Czechoslovakia. In 1905 he took his first art classes in Prague, and two years later his family emigrated to the United States, settling in the Bronx, New York.

He then began taking classes at the National Academy of Design, continuing there through 1917. After he finished his training, he moved into a studio apartment in Manhattan and met Lida Jirouskova, whom he married in 1918. Throughout this time he traveled quite extensively, visiting the southwest United States, Czechoslovakia, Paris, and Prague. In 1917 he lived in New Mexico, where he adopted a cubist style and painted some the earliest modernist works in the Southwest. In addition, he also painted directly from life, recording ceremonial scenes and daily life in the Pueblos.

In 1926 Katherine Dreier arranged his first important one-man exhibition at The Art Center, 65 East 56th Street in New York. However their relationship soon began to sour due to disagreements between the two.

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