Toyen, a Tale of War and Friendship

“In front of our house in the former Husova třída in Žižkov, usually at the time when workers from the Karlín factories were going home, I often encountered a strange but interesting girl,” recalls Czechoslovak Nobel prize-winner Jaroslav Seifert in his 1982 memoir All the Beauties of the World. At a time when women’s attire…

Mordecai Ardon – In Memory of Stefan (1972)

A fiery sphere. A horizontal line. Don’t stare too much into Mordecai Ardon’s Red Sun or you will get blind spots and reconsider your childhood drawings as masterpieces. Maybe your social media feeds, with their unverified yet ubiquitous quotations of Picasso, were right after all: every child is an artist. Ardon, a Polish-born Jewish artist…

Paul Gauguin – Self-Portrait with Portrait of Émile Bernard (1888)

Three friends. Three beards. Three paintings. In August 1888, a sensitive, anxious, yet quite ambitious 20-year-old man set out to walk by foot the more than 500 km distance between Paris and Pont-Aven, in order to paint with French artist Paul Gauguin. His beautiful younger sister, 17-year-old Madeleine, accompanied him. His name was Émile Bernard…