My daily art calendar always provides a teachable moment. Today, on Halloween, I was greeted by the artist, Bohumil Kubišta’s painting “Still Life with a Skull.” My first thought was: A brilliant artwork to schedule for October 31, 2019 and Halloween.
My second thought was: Who is Bohumil Kubišta? I confess I had no knowledge of this artist. Before my first cup of coffee, I was on a Google search of discovery. Oh, I do love these teachable moments. Here is what I discovered.
Bohumil Kubišta was a Czech painter, art critic and one of the founders of Czech modern painting. He studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague and traveled to Florence in 1906 to study at the Reale Istituto di Belle Arti. He was influenced by the works of Vincent Van Gogh, Paul Cézanne and Edvard Munch.
Along with Emil Filla, Antonín Procházka and five others (all names unknown to me – more research is scheduled in the coming days) , he founded Osma (The Eight) in 1907 – an Expressionist-oriented group of artists – and continued to work in this style until 1910, exchanging ideas with German painters in Die Brücke (recall Emil Nolde).
A philosopher, Bohumil Kubišta used his creativity to deepen his understanding of the inner character of modern life.
Still Life with a Skull, much like our Halloween festivities, reflects our link to tradition even as we reach forward into the unknown.