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 (until d. 1957; his estate, 1957–early 1960s; sold in the early 1960s to Flinker); [Galerie Karl Flinker, Paris, early 1960s–at least 1966; probably sold to Hazen]; Joseph H. Hazen Foundation Inc., New York (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," lent by the Joseph H. Hazen Foundation, Inc.).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "20th Century Accessions, 1967–1974," March 7–April 23, 1974, no catalogue.
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 "Plans par Verticales [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, dates it 1912–13.
Henry Geldzahler in "Twentieth Century Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1965–1975. New York, 1975, p. 216, ill., calls it "Plans Par Verticales".
Barbara Sawicz inChanges in Perspective: 1880–1925. Exh. cat., Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, New York University. New York, 1978, p. 25, dates it about 1912–13.
Gary Tinterow et al. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 8, Modern Europe. New York, 1987, p. 109, colorpl. 85, call it "Vertical Planes" and date it 1912–13.
Karel Srp. František Kupka: Geometrie myšlenek. Řevnicích, 2012, pp. 160, 189, fig. 133 (color).
Vladimir Lekeš et al. František Kupka: Catalogue raisonné des huiles. Catalogue Raisonné of Oil Paintings. Soupis olejomaleb. Ed. Vladimir Lekeš and Eliška Zlatohlávková. Prague, 2016, p. 247, no. 133, ill. (color), call it "Vertical and Diagonal Planes II" and date it 1913–14.