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Study of a head

Josef Capek

Study of a head

Josef Capek
  • Original Title: Studie hlavy
  • Date: 1914; Czech Republic  
  • Style: Abstract Art, Synthetic Cubism
  • Genre: abstract, sketch and study
  • Media: drawing, paper
  • Dimensions: 6 x 4.3 cm
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In 1913–1914, the work of Josef Čapek was distinguished by simplified form and a greater expressive immediacy. This is especially evident in the specific collection of head images from 1914–1915. In Study of a Head, the elementary, reduced form shifts towards a purely geometric treatment. Here, the strictly geometric forms bring Čapek to the very boundary of abstract art. Only the eye endows the drawing with a specific meaning: the head, composed of triangles, rectangles, circles and ovals or segments of them, has no individualized expression; this is a general form, an archetype, a sign. The summary quality of the image, the rhythmic alternation of empty and full planes, and the sparing colour scheme make it one of Čapek’s most rationally conceived head images. (source: National gallery of Prague)

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