Emil Filla - Painter

Emil Filla

Biography

Born in Chropyne [Moravia - Czech Republic] on April 4th, 1882. In 1900 he undertook his first study trip to Vienna. In the period from 1907 to 1908 Filla joined the visual artists group Osma [The Eight] and participated in an exhibition of its members Vincenc Beneš, Othon Coubine, Antonin Procházka, Bohumil Kubista, Max Horb, Willy Nowak and Bedřich Feigl in Prague. In 1909 Emil Filla entered the Visual Artists Club Manes and became the club´s outstanding representative and organizer with occasional intermissions in his activities up to a forced club dissolution in 1951. In the time from 1906 to 1914 Filla repeatedly used to visit Paris and met there Picasso, Braque, Gris, Pascin, Chagall, Kars, Jacob and Apollinaire. Since 1914 he had been living in exile in the Netherlands. In 1917 Filla was in collaboration with T. van Doesburg and P. Mondrian compiling the first issue of the revue `De Stijl´. In 1919-1920 he established and managed the Czechoslovak Embassy in The Hague. On September 1st 1939 Filla was arrested and put in concentration camps Dachau and Buchenwald because of his evident antifascist thoughts - recognizable by his activities in the thirties. He was kept in the camps till the end of the World War II. In 1945 Filla was appointed Professor and Head of a special Atelier of monumental painting at the Prague Academy of Applied Arts. In addition to his paintings, drawings and sculptures, he devoted his time and attention on art theory and art history. He also wrote many professional articles and publications. Emil Filla also edited a significant Czech professional journal `Volně šmíry [Free ways]´. He died in Prague on October 6th, 1953.