Databáze uměleckých výstav v českých zemích 1820 – 1950

The Second Exhibition of the Skupina výtvarných umělců (Fine Arts Group)

Date:28. September 1912 – 10. November 1912

Place: Prague, Municipal House

Exhibition design:Josef Gočár

Organizer:The Fine Arts Group

Conception:The Fine Arts Group committee and exhibition jury (Vincenc Beneš, Josef Gočár, Zdeněk Kratochvíl, František Kysela)


The second exhibition of the Skupina výtvarných umělců (Fine Arts Group), viewed by 2180 paying visitors, presented works by artists who had already participated in Skupina's first show: Emil Filla, Ladislav Šíma, Václav Špála, Josef Čapek, Vincenc Beneš, Antonín Procházka, Zdeněk Kratochvíl and Otto Gutfreund. This core group was extended to include two former painters from Osma (The Eight): Friedrich Feigl and Willy Nowak. Both of these artists built on their contacts with German expressionists from Die Brücke group. In 1911, Otto Mueller and his wife stayed with Nowak in Mníšek pod Brdy for three months and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner joined them for two weeks. Mueller and Kirchner also met with Emil Filla and Bohumil Kubišta and together they decided to organize an exhibition in Prague. This idea came to fruition at Skupina's second exhibition where Die Brücke was represented by not only Kirchner and Mueller but also Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluf. Yet, some of Skupina’s members were critical of Die Brücke’s works. For example, Josef Čapek reproached  Die Brücke artists for superficial virtuosity, casual execution and improvisation. The Die Brücke artists were featured in the main hall, modified by Josef Gočár to look like a crystal, a form that resonated with the works by both the Czech and German artists.

Other international guests included the French painters Othon Friesz and André Derain. Friesz was represented by Landscape from the collection of Vincenc Kramář, while Derain had two 1910 paintings at the show: Montreuil-sur-Mer and Cadaqués (listed in the catalogue as Town and Landscape). Kramář purchased the former from Derain in 1910 and the latter in 1911 from Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. Another painting from Kramář's collection, a small still life by Pablo Picasso, was added to the exhibition around October 20 but not included in the catalogue. This was most likely one of Picasso's 1912 still lifes (Ice Cream, Pork Chop and Absinth and Playing Cards) which Kramář bought from Kahnweiler in July of that same year, or an earlier still life, Box, Cup, Apple and Glass purchased by Kramář in 1911. This was the first time Picasso's original work was presented in the Czech milieu. 

By placing emphasis on architecture, furniture and other objects of applied arts, the exhibition followed up on the first Skupina show. Works by Pavel Janák, Josef Chochol, Vlastislav Hofman and Josef Gočár were presented through models, photographs and furniture sets made by Pražské umělecké dílny (Prague Art Workshops), founded upon the initiative of the aforementioned architects in May 1912. The workshops aimed to produce furniture as practical objects with high artistic value. 

Compared to the first exhibition, the furniture display was more effective and clear. The individual furniture sets for different purposes (dining room, sitting room) were placed in four separate spaces, thus evoking actual interiors, complete with paintings on the walls. Bohumil Kubišta noticed this in his review of the exhibition, suggesting that this was meant to test how modern paintings could complement modern furniture in a home’s interior [Kubišta 1912, p. 93]. 

In this presentation, the ambition of the new, Cubo-Expressionist art to create a unified style and pervade urban middle-class interiors clearly reached its apex. Further Skupina's shows between 1913 and 1914 abandoned this principle and turned toward a more traditional way of installing art, although these shows still featured examples of architecture and furniture. A similar principle then appeared in a somewhat improved form in the presentation of the Prague Art Workshops at the exhibition of the German Werkbund in Cologne in 1914.

In its 1912 exhibition, Skupina managed to use the exhibition medium to show with great didactic precision how “Czech Cubism” was original and unique in comparison with the French milieu and how the style was able to penetrate a wide range of art forms including painting, sculpture, drawing, printing, architecture and design. Or, as V. V. Štech put it in the catalogue, the show managed to convey art's direct participation in the building of new life, new human society [Štech 1912, n .p.]. The Czech uniqueness, however, can be disputed. Concurrently with the second Skupina's exhibition in Prague, the Autumn Salon in Paris featured the Maison cubiste, a specific installation of a Cubist house designed by the French painter and designer André Mare.

Tomáš Winter

Works Cited

Kubišta 1912: Bohumil Kubišta, Druhá výstava Skupiny výtvarných umělců v Obecním domě (1912), in: idem, Předpoklady slohu. Úvahy – kritiky – polemiky, ed. František Kubišta, Praha 1947, pp. 93–95
Štech 1912: Václav Vilém Štech, [Introduction], in: II. výstava skupiny výtvarných umělců: obrazy, plastika, grafika, architektura, umělecký průmysl, nábytkové interiéry pražských uměleckých dílen, Praha: Skupina výtvarných umělců 1912, n. p.

Further reading

Miroslav Lamač, Osma a Skupina výtvarných umělců 1907–1917, Praha 1988

Pavel Liška, Významné pražské výstavy v letech 1911–1922, in: Jiří Švestka – Tomáš Vlček (eds), Český kubismus 1909–1925. Malířství, sochařství, umělecké řemeslo, architektura (ex. cat.), Kunstverein für die Rheinlande und Westfalen, Düsseldorf 1991

Eva Petrová, Picasso v Československu, Praha 1981

Marie Rakušanová, Velké míjení, nebo nenápadná rezonance? Návštěva Otty Muellera, Marie Muellerové a Ernsta Ludwiga Kirchnera v roce 1911 v Čechách, Umění LIV, 2006, pp. 142–161

Tomáš Winter, Maison cubiste po česku, in: Otto M. Urban – Filip Wittlich (eds), 1912. 100 let od otevření Obecního domu v Praze, Praha 2012, pp. 103–110

Tomáš Winter (ed.), Zajatec kubismu. Dílo Emila Filly v zrcadle výtvarné kritiky (1907–1953), Praha 2004

Exhibiting authors
The Second Exhibition of the Skupina výtvarných umělců (Fine Arts Group)
Technique: colour lithograph, paper, 78 x 108 cm
Owner: Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague

II. výstava Skupiny výtvarných umělců. Obrazy, plastika, grafika, architektura, umělecký průmysl. Nábytkové interieury Pražských uměleckých dílen [The Second Exhibition of the Group of Fine Artists. Paintings, Sculptures, Prints, Architecture, Art Industry, Interiors with Furniture made by Prague Art Workshops]


Publisher: Group of Fine Artists

Place and year of publication: Praha 1912


Author/s of the introduction:Štech Václav Vilém Štech
Reviews in the press
Čapek Josef

Josef Čapek, II. výstava Skupiny výtvarných umělců, Lumír XLI, 1912–1913, no. 1, 18. 10. 1912, p. 44–48, in: idem, Publicistika 2. Výtvarné eseje a kritiky 1905–1920, eds Mariana Dufková – Pavla Pečinková, Praha 2012, pp. 53–58

Čapek Karel

[Karel Čapek], II. výstava Skupiny výtv. umělců v Obecním domě, Česká revue [IV], 1912–1913, no. 2, November, pp. 120–122, in: idem, O umění a kultuře I, ed. Emanuel Macek – Miloš Pohorský, Praha 1984, pp. 220–224

Handzel Karel

Karel Handzel, Umělecké výstavy pražské (Sursum, Spolek výtvarných umělců, Schwaiger), Moravskoslezská revue IX, 1912–1913, no. 1, October, pp. 49–54

Harlas František Xaver

František Xaver Harlas, Druhá výstava Skupiny výtvarných umělců, Národní politika XXX, 1912, č. 276, 6. 10., 2. příloha, s. 1

Harlas František Xaver

František Xaver Harlas, Rozhledy po umění výtvarném, Osvěta XLII, 1912, no. 10, 15. 11., pp. 780–784

Kubišta Bohumil

Bohumil Kubišta, Druhá výstava Skupiny výtvarných umělců v Obecním domě, Česká kultura I, 1912–1913, no. 2, 18. 10., pp. 58–60, in: idem, Předpoklady slohu. Úvahy – kritiky – polemiky, ed. František Kubišta, Brno 1947, pp. 93–95

Kubišta Bohumil

Bohumil Kubišta, II. výstava Skupiny výtvarných umělců, Přehled XI, 1912–1913, no. 5, 25. 10., pp. 91–92

Laurin Arne

Arne Laurin, Druhá výstava “Skupiny výtvarných umělců”, Národní obzor VI, 1911–1912, no. 47, 11. 10, p. 5; no. 48, 18. 10., p. 5

Macek Antonín

A. M. [Antonín Macek], Výstava Skupiny výtvarných umělců, Právo lidu XXI, 1912, no. 297, 27. 10., appendix 2, pp. 1–2

Mádl Karel Boromejský

Karel Boromejský Mádl, „Skupina“, Národní listy LII, 1912, no. 283, 13. 10., appendix, p. 17

Mádl Karel Boromejský

M. [Karel Boromejský Mádl], Dvě výstavy v Obecním domě, Zlatá Praha XXX, 1912–1913, no. 7, 25. 10., p. 83

Views of the exhibition

View of the Second Exhibition of the Fine Arts Group

paintings by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Erich Heckel


Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences


View of the Second Exhibition of the Fine Arts Group

paintings and sculptures by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel and Otto Mueller


Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences

View of the Second Exhibition of the Fine Arts Group

in the middle: Otto Gutfreund, Harmony

on the wall are paintings by Emil Filla and Vincenc Beneš


Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences

View of the Second Exhibition of the Fine Arts Group

furniture by Josef Gočár

above the sofa from left: Othon Friesz, Landscape, André Derain, Motreuil-sur-Mer and Cadaqués


Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences

View of the Second Exhibition of the Fine Arts Group

in the middle: Josef Chochol, model of the Kovařovic Villa

on the back wall: Otto Gutfreund, Medallion of the Prague mayor Čeněk Gregor for the Hlávkův Bridge in Prague


Institute of Art History, Czech Academy of Sciences

Brief notes about the exhibition

Anonymous author, I. Výstava Skupiny, Umělecký měsíčník II, 1912–1914, p. 40

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