Czech-American painter Frederick I. Kann (1884-1965) was influential in the development of abstract art in both America and Europe. The following is a selection of Frederick's paintings completed from 1930 to 1944.
Abstract Composition, c. 1940, oil on masonite, 18" x 24". Treadway Gallery 2011
Sympatica, c. late 1930's, oil on masonite, 18" x 24". Hollis Taggart Galleries
Untitled, c. 1935-36, oil on canvas, 24" x 18". Meredith Ward Fine Art
Untitled, 1931, oil on canvas, 23.6" x 28.8". Meredith Ward Fine Art
Untitled, 1944, oil on canvas board, 18" x 24". Meredith Ward Fine Art
Untitled, c. 1935-36, oil on canvas, 28.75" x 23.63". Meredith Ward Fine Art
Untitled, 1931, oil on canvas, 15" x 22". The Caldwell Gallery
Untitled, c. 1938, oil and cork on canvas board, 18" x 24". Meredith Ward Fine Art
Frederick I. Kann was born in Galblonz, Czechoslovakia in 1884. He studied painting, sculpture and architecture at the Technical College in Prague and later in Munich. In 1910 he moved to Canada, finally settling in New York City where he became a U.S. citizen.
He moved to Paris in 1928 where he became involved with the city's thriving avant-garde community, which included artists Joseph Albers, Piet Mondrian and Marcel Duchamp as well as the abstract art groups Les Surindépendants and Abstraction-Création. It is said that he often threw parties on Friday nights at his studio apartment at 59 rue Froidevaux (pictured below), where members of the local avant-garde would eat, drink and talk of their shared love of the arts. During this time he was also close friends with writer Henry Miller, who lived at his apartment; check out a great anecdote of their friendship - here.
He returned to the U.S. in 1936 and became a founding member of the Abstract American Artists group, which still exists today. In 1942 Kann moved to Los Angeles where he continued to promote abstraction, opening up the Frederick Kann-Frank Martin Gallery, one of the city's first galleries to exhibit abstract art. He also founded the Circle Gallery and helped establish the Modern Institute of Art in Beverly Hills (1947-1949) with actor Vincent Price. And last but not least, he established the Kann Institute of Art at 9010 Melrose Ave in Los Angeles where the legendary graphic artist Saul Bass taught (see photo of its old location below). Frederick I. Kann passed away in 1965. If you are interested in acquiring one of his paintings, try Meredith Ward Fine Art.