After studying art at Prague Academy of Arts, he started painting and became a member of Devětsil movement. His early work was influenced by Cubism. When he moved to Paris with his wife Toyen, the couple founded their own movement: Artificialism. Back in Prague he designed the Liberated Theatre or Prague Free Theatre, which represented the centre of main Surrealist Czech circle. In 1932 he became a member of the SVU Mánes Association of Fine Artists. In 1934 he co-founded the Surrealist Group of Czechoslovakia in Prague and the following year he moved to Paris. At the end of 1930s he became seriously ill and in 1942 he died of pneumonia.