Artist spotlight: Frank Kupka and bedroom design idea

While in Prague last week I visited the national museum of contemporary art and one artist in particular stood out for me. I knew about Frank Kupka from my school days but you know how it goes when you’re at school, you just learn about different art movements but not really get into it in detail.

I have always been drawn to the abstract art movement of the early 20th century like cubism and art nouveau. I think it’s because I like how geometric shapes can create an object from different angles rather than just perspective with a single viewpoint. I always enjoyed collage making at school which was one of my favourite activities in art. And to me, cubism is little bit like collage making.. adding layers and shapes with light and shadows.


Anyway back to Kupka. Born in 1871, he was a Czech painter who studied art in Prague, Vienna and later in Paris where he lived until his death in 1957.  The interesting thing about his art is that he was always against the colour theory and what colours should go together. He advocated “the free approach” to colour association and created his own colour wheel based on Sir Isaac Newton approach. Now, that’s what I call breaking rules! Or, thinking outside the box for sure.

I’m always fascinated how painters and artists evolve over time and Kupka made quite a leap in his career. His use of colour and technique changed dramatically over time. Just compare his early work with the last one..and the progress in between.. it’s amazing!

frank kupka 1909Planes by Colours, Large Nude, 1909

frank kupka 1912Amphora, Fugue in Two Colours, 1911

frank kupka 1919The Coloured One, 1919

Form of Blue, 1925

frank kupka 1930 Peninsule, 1930

Contrast Series 1935

frank kupka 1945 One Vision, 1945

My absolute favourite are these two.  This one called The Colour Music.

frank kupka colour music

And this one is called Vertical and Diagonal Planes.


The colour palette on this last one in particular is a great starting point for a bedroom or living room I think.


As usual, I can’t help myself and do a little bedroom scheme idea inspired by the colours from the painting above. I took the lavender and gold and thought they would go so well together.

bedroom colour scheme idea


Anyway, I think art is such an inspirational element in the design process and is a great starting point. Just pull the colours out to give you a colour palette of at least 4 – 6 core colours. At least that way you don’t have to search for colour combos and get confused and uncertain about what colour goes with what. Artists already figured it out for you. So use art as your template!

Have you heard of Frank Kupka before? Are you a fan of cubism and modern abstract art movement and the beginning of 20th century?

By the way, many galleries across the world have permanent Frank Kupka paintings on display including in New York, Paris and Prague.

Hope you feel little bit inspired by the colours and take away a little tip too! Thanks for stopping by and  let me know what you think!

Karolina Barnes Studio

Photo credit: all via