Otto Gutfreund (1889-1926)
was a Czech painter and sculptor. He is considered one of the most important representatives of Czech Cubism.
Gutfreund was born on August 3, 1889 in Dvur Kralove nad Labem. He grew up in a Jewish family in the north of Bohemia. From 1903 until 1906 he studied under the direction of Josef Drahonovsky at the School of Ceramics in Bechyne. Then he went to Paris to study at the Académie de la Grande Chaumiere under Antoine Bourdelle.
The life of Otto Gutfreund
In 1910 he finished his studies and joined the group of artists Skupina. He has published in journals and cultivated good relations with Emil Filla. In 1911 he prepared a first cubist sculpture, which was exhibited in 1912 in the French capital. After completing his degree, he participated in several exhibitions; 1913 he participated with some of his artwork on the German Autumn Salon and was able to present his sculptures in Berlin and Munich.
Influences on his works
His work was characterized by his Parisian experience. In France, he gained experience that influenced his artistic work significantly. With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 he did his military service, but was taken to a prison.
He spent two years in the prison Saint -Michel -de- Frigolot, but could return to Paris in 1918, where he initially financed his living with various odd jobs.
In 1926 he became the chair holder of architectural sculpture at the School of Applied Arts in Prague. One year later, in 1927, ended his life in a tragic way: He drowned in the Vltava River. After his formative Cubist period that lasted until 1919/1920, Gutfreund took on various government contracts, in which he praised the citizens of the Czechoslovak Republic.
As a representative of Cubism, it must be mentioned in one breath as the artists Pablo Picasso and Alexander Archipenko. Some of his most famous sculptures include "Don Quixote" (1911 /12) and the "cellist" (1912 /13).