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…

Herbert James Gunn and His Mona Lisa

At thirty-one-years old Herbert James Gunn’s life was only just beginning. Sure, the Scotsman had already been married once, fathered three children, fought in World War I and wandered through the cities of Europe and the sun-drenched north of Africa, milestones which would take many of us a lifetime to achieve. But there he was…

Wassily Kandinsky – Composition IX (1936)

With the new discoveries in science, including Einstein’s famous theory of relativity at the beginning of the 20th century, artists started questioning the limited, illusory reality they were experiencing. There must be more beyond the physical world, they thought. Art became a way to test the notion that a deeper, spiritual dimension was within reach…

Otto Griebel – The Ship’s Stoker (1920)

The Nazis ultimately deemed his art as degenerate, for its modern look, criticism of the militia and portrayal of nudity. There aren’t that many works left from German artist Otto Griebel, since many of them got destroyed during the bombing of Dresden in 1944. Others were confiscated by the Nazis or looted during World War…