450 000 CZK
| 17 647 €
Oil on wood panel. Exhibition label on reverse: Jos. R. Vilimek Gallery, exhibited in 1943, catalog no. 13. Street Corner, a painting from the period shortly after the outbreak of World War II, was exhibited at the Vilimek (now Spala) Gallery in 1943 together with other works featuring similar themes with mysterious parts of Prague. An important exponent of the interwar avant-garde who was primarily known for his art critiques, Otakar Mrkvicka was a close contemporary of Jindrich Styrsky and Toyen and the importance of his work is gradually receiving more recognition. Initially strongly influenced by the Constructivist aesthetic of Devetsil, in the 1930s his work transitioned towards poetic primitivism. In spite of its small size, this visually very exceptional work follows this trend to capture the atmosphere with a figure walking at night. When the painting was exhibited, Honzik wrote: "The nighttime wold of Mrkvicek's paintings is not intrinsically terrifying. Poverty is generously blurred by the darkness, like the magic of festivities veils it in daylight paintings. Even the vice we sense in the darkness following the pale harlot, does not have a sanatic face like in Félicien Rops. It is just one form of the world that the painter included in his paintings with wonderment, like a butterfly collector who welcomes the horrific death's-head hawkmoth to his collection with the same love as if it were a blue butterfly." Material research by Jana Záhorová. Ref.: Catalogue of Galerie Jos. R. Vilímek, 1943.