|František Kupka, The Beginning of Life, 1900. Source.|
I’ve long been an admirer of František Kupka, Symbolist painter and pioneering abstract artist. But it was when I read that he’d been a medium that I knew I had to write about him.
|František Kupka, The Way of Silence, 1903. Source.|
Although a skeptic, I’m still intrigued by people who sincerely believe they can communicate with forces from "The Great Beyond," as Gauguin called it. Perhaps it’s in the genes. My grandmother used to take my father to seances in the 1930s, when spiritualism was very in vogue in England.
|František Kupka, The First Step, 1909. Source.|
Although as an adult my father dismissed such doings as hogwash, I believe our shared love of classic horror and science fiction films arose from a fascination with the supernatural, and perhaps a faint wish that we, too, could believe. I was raised an atheist, which makes it difficult to believe in the unexplained, even when one really wants to.
|František Kupka, Admiration, c. 1899. Source.|
Kupka, born in Bohemia in 1871, was apprenticed as a youth to a saddle maker, who apparently introduced him to spiritualism. Several biographies describe Kupka as supporting himself as a medium, and certainly the works of his Symbolist period reveal a highly imaginative mind at work.
|František Kupka, Resistance, or The Black Idol, 1903. Coloured aquatint on paper.|
|from Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula.|
|František Kupka, Amorpha, Fugue en deux couleurs, 1912. Source.|
|František Kupka, Disks of Newton, (Study for "Fugue in Two Colors")1911. Source.|
|František Kupka, Autour d'un point, c. 1911-1930. Source.|
|František Kupka, Form of Blue, 1925 (left); Lawren Harris, Mountain Experience, c.1936 (right).|
|František Kupka, The Yellow Scale, 1907. Source.|