Kopf, Maxim

views updated


KOPF, MAXIM (1892–1958), painter. Born in Vienna, he studied art in Prague and Dresden. During World War i, he served in the Austrian army and was severely wounded. In 1922 he had his first exhibition, showing the painting Pilgrims (1920). In 1927 he married his partner Mary Durasová but divorced her in 1933. He became the leader of a group of followers of German expressionism, known under the name "Prager Sezession." Like other artists of his time, Kopf flirted with esotericism and mysticism which became obvious in his works with crystalline elements (Budha, 1920; Varieté, 1920). Akin to Gauguin spiritually and artistically, Kopf traveled through the Pacific Islands in 1925, creating a large number of canvases, especially of Tahiti. The artistic harvest of this trip was shown in a highly successful exhibition in 1927. Later Kopf settled in Paris, and after the fall of France he moved to New York. He married the American journalist and political writer Dorothy Thompson and built his reputation as an artist through many exhibitions. At his death his last painting, a monumental crucifixion, was left unfinished.

add. bibliography:

Gesamtausstellung von Maxim Kopf. Krasoumná jednota prozechy (1923); I. Habán (ed.), Maxim Kopf 18921958, Ausst. Kat. Galerie der bildenden Kunst in Cheb (2002).

[Avigdor Dagan /

Sonja Beyer (2nd ed.)]