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Group of Plastic Artists

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A splinter group of progressive Czech artists that broke away from the Mánes Union in Prague in 1911 and flourished up to the First World War. The leading members of the group were Vincenc Beneš (1893–1979), Josef *Čapek, Emil Filla, Otto Gutfreund, and Antonín Procházka (1882–1945). Stylistically they combined Cubism with Expressionism, along with some Futurist influence after 1913. The group published a journal Umělecký měsíĉník (Art Monthly) from 1911 to 1914 and held six exhibitions in Prague between 1912 and 1914; at two of these, works by leading contemporary painters from other countries were shown (among them Braque, Gris, Munch, Pechstein, and Picasso). The members were in touch with the artists of Die Brücke in Germany and in 1913 they showed as a group in the Sturm Gallery in Berlin. Closely associated with the group was the art historian Vincenc Kramář (1877–1960), who formed a superb collection of Cubist art. He became director of the National Gallery in Prague and bequeathed his collection to the nation.

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