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 Kamil Kubik  (1930 - 2011)

About: Kamil Kubik


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Lived/Active: New York      Known for: Cityscape, street scene, floral painting

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Ad Code: 4
Kamil Kubik
from Auction House Records.
Central Park in Summertime
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Obituary. The New York Times on Aug. 11, 2011

Kubik--Kamil, of Union City, NJ, from February 9, 1930 to August 3, 2011.  Defecting from his home country of Czechoslovakia in 1948 when the Communists seized power, he would become known as "Master of Cityscapes", known internationally for his street scenes, cityscapes and magnificent florals, memorializing royal weddings and inaugurations on his canvas pieces.  He once said "The most valuable thing I do by being an artist is that I meet many incredible people". 

Kamil married English-born Prima Ballerina, Joanna W. Bowers in 1955, settling in Australia.  Subsequently, they traveled the world, working in Sydney, Canberra, San Francisco, New York, Washington, DC, London, Paris, Germany, and ultimately came to America.  They recently celebrated their 56th Wedding Anniversary.  He was the official artist for the White House.  His work has been chronicled in Business Week and the New York times. Official painter for both the U.S. Open Tennis and Golf championships, he also owned the St. James Gallery on Madison Avenue.  He received numerous awards, "New Yorker Of the Year" and "Ellis Island Medal of Honor".  His Readers Digest cover in 1972 of the Skating Rink in front of the Plaza was seen by millions.  His pastel of Carnegie Hall, the first American poster in China, was presented to the People's Republic by Isaac Stern.  He worked with the Ritz-Carlton Hotels, the Greenbrier and the Breakers. His art is included in the private collections of President and Mrs. Laura Bush, Rudolph Giuliani, Prince Rainier of Monaco and Princess Grace, HRH Queen Elizabeth II, Presidents Ford and Johnson and Mr. and Mrs. Charles Scribner.

Kamil is survived by his devoted wife of 56 years, Joanna W. Kubik, a sister Irena Egidova, a nephew Kamil Egida and his children, Kamil and Nikolka.

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Note from Glen Whitten, November 2003:

I was his dentist and friend in NYC from the mid 60s until the mid 70s. During this period I spent a lot of time in his studio and gallery which was on the SW corner of 71st and Madison. After the mid 70s I moved from NY and lost contact.

Kamil was born during the late 20s or early 30s in Czeckoslavakia. He lived there during the war and was there when the Communists took over. One of his jobs was digging coal. In 1948 he walked to a wooded spot on the Czeck border which was unattended and walked to freedom. He lived and worked as an artist in England and Australia before before moving to NYC.

His work is characterized by everything looking new or polished without signs of dirt or wear. Green rails around Grand Central would show up in his pictures as bronze colored.

Many of his paintings were the homes or landmark buildings in NYC like the Plaza. He also did some paintings of the flotilla in NY in 1976. Central Park was another favorite.

He was married to Joanna a ballet dancer who performed in England Australia and the US.

Biography from American Design Ltd.:
Contemporary Czechoslovakian Painter

The street scenes of Kamil Kubik are executed in the true impressionist tradition.  Painting outdoors, Kubik is inspired by ever-changing nature, and the interactions with passers-by as he works.  Some of Kubik’s best-known works include shimmering scenes of parks in London, New York City and Paris.  He has also painted unusual interpretations of such architectural giants as the U.S. Capitol, Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre Museum and London’s Big Ben.

Kubik has said of his art: “I try to speak to the man who must sweat when he works, who wants to come home to something beautiful after a day of honest labor.”  Kubik achieves this beauty by approaching each street scene with a fresh eye, using pastels to create a complex surface, rich with the texture of quick light strokes.  His colors are as lively as his line, perhaps a reflection of the inspiration he draws from the spontaneity and excitement of the children who invariably gather around him when he is working outside.

Kubik was born in Czechoslovakia in 1930 to an artistic family.  He began his formal art training in Prague, but when the Communists seized power in 1949, he escaped, starting along journey of study and work around the world.  Kubik did set design in Australia, and painted portraits in London and San Francisco.  His works are owned by collectors on five continents including the collections of Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, Mr. And Mrs. John V. Lindsay, Paul Mellon, Count de La Lanne-Mirrlees and Robert Sarnoff.

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