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"Nude and Unicorn," Brilliant and Important Art Deco Painting by Matulka, 1944



This brilliant example of Art Deco painting by Jan Matulka shows hints of the modern take on Cubism that the artist worked out with Stuart Davis. Matulka was born in Prague and came to America as a young man, and trained here and in Paris, where he became exposed to Cubism. He exhibited in New York, created illustrations for New Masses which advanced the interest of American workers, and worked for the Works Progress Administration in the Roosevelt years. This painting shows all the hallmarks of high Art Deco, with its stylized female nude with Classical features, its boldly-painted unicorn, and its exaggerated plant forms, all in a brilliant palette of cerulean blue, mossy green and deep black.


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