„Předně mně záleží na vystoupení!“ Emil Filla a zahraniční výstavy Skupiny výtvarných umělců v roce 1913
An important new stimulus with which to gain insight into the publishing and exhibition activities of the Group of Fine Artists (Skupina výtvarných umělců) in 1913 is provided by a short message that Emil Filla sent from Paris to Vincenc Beneš in early May 1913, which confirms his position at that time as leader of the Group. Not only does the message shed light on the tactics Filla used in the on-going clash of opinions over what Cubism should be with its less orthodox proponents, such as Josef Čapek and Vlastislav Hofman, but it also illuminates how several of the Group’s shows outside the Czech lands originated and were negotiated and brought about. The culmination of this effort was the three successfully brought off independent exhibitions of the Group in Germany. The first was in the spring of 1913, when the Group exhibited its work at Hans Goltz’s Neue Kunst gallery in Munich. This was immediately followed by a previously unrecorded repeat show that was held in slightly altered form in late April and early May 1913 at the New Art Salon in Otto Feldmann’s Der Rheinische Kunstsalon in Cologne. One of the Group’s most important shows abroad took place in the autumn in Berlin, when the Group arranged a separate exhibition for itself at Herwarth Walden’s prestigious Der Sturm gallery to coincide with the First German Autumn Salon (Erster Deutscher Herbstsalon), in which some members of the Group participated individually. With respect to the two Berlin shows of the Group, Filla’s message, along with information found in the published letters of Pavel Janák and Vincenc Beneš to Otto Gutfreund and of their German colleagues August Macke, Franz Marc and gallery-owner Herwarth Walden, provide a clearer idea of the rigmarole that the plans to exhibit in Berlin went through and to at least partially reconstruct the course of the negotiations between Walden and the Group’s representatives. This article also remarks on the isolated reactions in the domestic press in Bohemia that exhibitions abroad in 1913 received and provides additional information on collectors abroad who acquired works by Emil Filla, Vincenc Beneš and Otto Gutfreund at the Berlin exhibitions.