Josef Čapek (1887-1945) was one of Czech modernism's most formative protagonists. The artist first studied weaving before finding his métier as both a painter and designer. During a short stint in Paris, he befriended the poet Guillaume Apollinaire, who was then the leading theorist of and driving force behind Cubism. Capek adopted the Cubist style, fusing it with moodier elements of Expressionism and Symbolism to create a uniquely Czech take on the style. Alongside his work as a painter, Capek designed several hundred book covers from 1918 until his death in 1945 for Czech publications of early twentieth-century authors such as Apollinaire, Karel Capek, Jan Bartos, Josef Hora, Josef Kopta, Pierre Mac Orlan, Giovanni Papini, Pirandello, Miroslav Rutte and Georg Trakl and nineteenth-century authors such as Flaubert, Goethe, Kropotkin, Sheridan Le Fanu and Arthur Machen. Capek's designs were much celebrated in Czechoslavakia for their simplicity and their virtuoso use of linocut. Itself a beautiful publication, The Book Design of Josef Capek: Seeing The Book presents a fully-illustrated and complete survey of this rarely seen work.
The Modern Czech Book 3
Czech Photography of the 20th Century, published simultaneously in Czech and English versions, is the first book to present the main trends, figures, and works of Czech photography from the beginning to the end of the last century to such a large extent. Its 517 plates include not only the most important, well-known photographs and photomontages, but also works that have long been forgotten or are published for the first time. The book is arranged in seventeen chapters, supplemented with chronologies of the most important events in twentieth-century Czech photography and history.