Vaclav Vytlacil, American, (1892-1984).
Vaclav Vytlacil was born to Czechoslovakian parents in 1892 in New York City. Living in Chicago as a youth,
he took classes at the Art Institute of Chicago, returning to New York when he was 20. From 1913 to 1916,
he enjoyed a scholarship from the Art Students League, and worked with John C. Johansen (a portraitist whose
expressive style resembled that of John Singer Sargent).
He accepted a teaching position at the Minneapolis School of Art in 1916, remaining there until 1921. This
enabled him to travel to Europe to study Cezannes paintings and works of the Old Masters. Vytlacil studied at
the Royal Academy of Art in Munich, settling there in 1921. In Munich, he was introduced to the famous abstractionist
Hans Hofmann. He worked with Hofmann from about 1922 to 1926, as a student and teaching assistant.
During the summer of 1928, after returning to the U.S., Vytlacil gave lectures at the Univ. of California, on
modern European art. Soon thereafter, he became a member of the Art Students League faculty. After one year,
he returned to Europe in an effort to persuade Hofmann to teach at the League as well. He spent about six years
in Europe, studying the works of Matisse, Picasso, and Dufy. In 1935, he returned to New York and assisted in the
founding of the American Abstract Artists. He later had teaching posts at Queens College in New York; the College
of Arts and Crafts in Oakland, CA; Black Mountain College in NC; and the Art Students League.
His paintings exhibit a clear inclination toward modernism. His paintings from the 1920s indicate an understanding
of the art of Cezanne. In the 1930s, his works displayed two very different kinds of art at the same time. His
cityscapes and landscapes combine Cubist-inspired spatial concerns with an expressionistic approach to line and color.
Vytlacils works are included in collections at the Art Students League in NYC; the; the University of Notre Dame Art
Gallery in Indiana; the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in NYC, and the
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
"Boats at the Dock",
Signed lower left.
Oil on canvasboard. 11" x 14"