Born in Bohemia, Kupka was active in Paris for much of his career. He created his first abstract works in 1911, combining his interests in Cubism, Czech folk art, philosophy, and optics. These radical new paintings were among the first purely nonrepresentational works produced in Europe. Here, the multitude of rectilinear geometric forms in saturated colors interlock to suggest stained glass, textile design, or a folding screen.
Inscription: Signed (lower right): Kupka
the artist, Paris (probably until d. 1957; probably sold by his estate in early 1960s to Flinker); [Galerie Karl Flinker, Paris, probably early 1960s–at least 1966; probably sold to Hazen]; Joseph H. Hazen Foundation (by 1968–71; gift to MMA)
Paris. Galerie Karl Flinker. "Kupka avant 1914," March–April 1966, unnumbered cat. (as "Plans par Verticales," 1911–12).
New York. Spencer A. Samuels and Company, Ltd. "Frank Kupka," March–April 1968, no. 32 (as "Plans par Verticales," 1912–13, lent by the Joseph H. Hazen Foundation, Inc.).
Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, New York University Faculty of Arts and Science. "Changes in Perspective: 1880–1925," May 2–June 2, 1978, unnumbered cat. (p. 25; as "Vertical Planes").
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "It All Begins With a Dot: Exploring Lines in 20th-Century Art," April 13–December 31, 1988, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Painters in Paris: 1895–1950," March 8–December 31, 2000, extended to January 14, 2001, unnumbered cat. (p. 34).
Nancy Schwartz. Frank Kupka. Exh. cat., Spencer A. Samuels and Company, Ltd. New York, 1968, unpaginated, no. 32.
Henry Geldzahler in "Twentieth Century Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1965–1975. New York, 1975, p. 216, ill.
Changes in Perspective: 1880–1925. Exh. cat., Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, New York University. New York, 1978, p. 25.
Gary Tinterow et al. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 8, Modern Europe. New York, 1987, p. 109, colorpl. 85, calls it "Vertical Planes".