Georges Kuthan, 1916 - 1966
Georges Kuthan was born in Klatovy, Czechoslovakia. His studies as a medical student at the University of Prague were interrupted by the Nazi occupation in 1939. As a result, he turned his attention to art, studying at Prague’s School of Decorative Arts. He graduated six years later, in 1947.
That same year he left for Paris on a scholarship to study graphic art, printmaking and painting. He worked in the studio of Robert Camis at the Ecole de Beaux Arts & painted at the Academie d’Andre Lhote.
During his three years in Paris, he spent his free time in the city’s parks creating simple drawings on plain white paper in pen and ink. He found some commercial success in Paris, nonetheless, he made the decision to emigrate to Canada in 1950, first landing in Saskatchewan and then relocating to Vancouver within the year.
Kuthan taught printmaking at UBC, and actively used etching, wood-engraving, and lino-cutting in his own work on books, magazines, brochures and Christmas cards. A selection of his Christmas cards are featured in the Feckless Collection.
Kuthan’s Menagerie of Interesting Zoo Animals was published in 1960 by Nevermore Press. It’s known in the history of fine printing in Canada, not just for Kuthan’s linocuts, but also for the fact that only 60 of the edition’s 130 copies were ever bound; the balance remained in the bindery, eventually forgotten - but luckily, not lost.
The unbound copies were purchased in the late 80s from the original binder's estate by two Vancouver booksellers. They sold the remaining unbound copies in the form of “livre d’artiste” – loose, with a new wrap and beautiful clamshell box.
Right up until his death in August of 1966, the artist provided illustrations for the quarterly magazine, Canadian Literature. A lovely tribute to Kuthan was published by the editor, George Woodcock, after Kuthan’s death.
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, BC (1959)
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Victoria, BC
Kuthan's Menagerie of Interesting Zoo Animals (1960)
Vancouver: Sights and Visions (1962)
Aphrodite's Cup (1964)
Scenes from Snowbound (1970)
Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC
University of British Columbia, Vancouver
The Feckless Collection, Vancouver, BC