České Budějovice: 1935. Oblong leaf of thin laid paper, measuring 18.5 × 27 cm, with vertical fold. Original black linocut print, signed in pencil, with letterpress text to the right.
Original illustrated card, announcing the birth of Josef and Marie Bartuška's son Jan in January 1935. With an original linocut design, signed by the artist in pencil. Bartuška (1898-1963) was the leading figure of the Linie Group, an avant-garde movement active in České Budějovice after 1931, which embraced cubist and other modernist tendencies in opposition to the dominant local school of traditional landscape painting and decorative arts. Bartuška was an extremely versatile artist, working in photography, graphic arts, painting and line drawings, as well as collages. He also worked as a poet, playwright and film script-writer, amateur film director, musician, critic and theoretician. Along with Karel Valter, Ada Novák, Emil Pitter, Miroslav Haller and others he published the group's eponymous journal, Linie from 1931 to 1938. As a graphic artist he was influenced by Toyen and Štyrský, as well as by the Cologne "Gruppe progressiver Künstler." In the second half of the 1930s he created numerous more political drawings and prints, often with reference to the war in Spain. He is known primarily for his photographic work, subject of a separate 1932 exhibition, while the rest of his extensive oeuvre remains unknown, especially outside the Czech Republic.
For more on this under-appreciated group, see Jaroslav Anděl's monograph, "Avantgarda o mnoha médiích: Josef Bartoška a skupina Linie, 1931-1939" (2004).
Book ID: P5680