Kubišta - Filla. A Pilsen Disputation
The exceptional significance of the Gallery of West Bohemia’s collections of works by Bohumil Kubišta and Emil Filla has already been highlighted in earlier exhibitions and publications. The gallery’s most recent overview of Czech Cubism was Cubism 1910–1925. Cubism in the Collections of the Gallery of West Bohemia in Pilsen, an exhibition held in 2009 with an accompanying publication. The forthcoming exhibition will to a large extent be based on this synthetic approach to the subject, but will seek to extend the contextualisation of Kubišta and Filla as two important representatives of Czech Cubism in the gallery’s collections.
The Gallery of West Bohemia has a large number of works by Emil Filla, some of which date from periods that were not covered by the 2009 exhibition. The forthcoming exhibition will not map all of Filla’s work in the gallery’s collections, and specifically will not present his art from the 1930s onwards, a decision that was taken to ensure the coherence of presenting Filla’s work alongside that of his contemporary Bohumil Kubišta, who died prematurely in 1918. If the exhibition is not to be merely a descriptive presentation of works from the collections, but will focus on the interaction between these two major artists within a single exhibition, it is essential to highlight common themes and place them in context by contrasting works by Kubišta and Filla, as well as the work of contemporary Czech, German and Jewish painters and sculptors in this country (Georg Kars, Otto Gutfreund, Josef Čapek, Jan Zrzavý, Václav Špála) from the gallery ‘s collections. The exhibition will also include paintings, drawings and prints by Kubišta and Filla on loan from other state and private collections. These artworks will be accompanied by contemporary documents, photographs, letters, memoirs and other archival materials with the aim of mapping out the relationship (both artistic and personal) between these two artists, examining their role within their generation and their impact in Bohemia and other countries. One of the hypotheses for this exhibition is that it was the conflicting ideas of these two artists that resulted after 1911 in the fragmentation of the common goals of their generation and undermined the agenda promoted within the art community in Bohemia and originally beyond its borders too.