Great Photographers: Miroslav Tichý

Miroslav Tichý (1926-2011) was a reknowned Czech painter and amateur photographer. A great eccentric, who was discovered by the world in the later years of his life. He studied painting at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts between 1945-1948. Disappointed by unfulfilled promises after Stalin’s death, he dropped his studies and returned to Kyjov.

miroslavtichy

Up until the 1960’s he was primarily known as a painter. It was only later when he focused on photography that he started to construct his own equipment, made from found objects, packaging and waste. Hiding in the small town of Kyjov, he lived a life of seclusion. His hermit existence was only interrupted by occasional problems with the law for invasion of privacy. He developed his style as an “artistic voyeur” – the subject of his photography was based on random encounters with women.

The townspeople gradually got used to Tichý ‘s practice. The artist, however, had been met with incomprehension by the Czechoslovak communist regime, resulting in forced stays in a psychiatric hospital.

Tichý’s work was only discovered by the critics in 2000.

Miroslav Tichý’s website: http://www.tichyfotograf.cz/

Written by Karina Prędka

Great Photographers. Jan Saudek, the praise of ugliness.

There was once a man who worked at a factory from six in the morning until three in the afternoon. He lived in a basement, where plaster was slowly peeling off the mouldy walls.  The only thing he could see from this small cellar was a dark and depressing space. His name was Jan Saudek. He did not own anything more than a bike and an old 6 x 6 Flexaret camera. His inexhaustible energy and eternally insatiable ambition were his real wealth.

Jan Saudek

The reality of communist Czechoslovakia, in which he lived, was blurred by his own dreams and fantasies, immortalized in his photography. His most famous photos were taken against the shabby wall in his basement during the ’70s. He chose models of extraordinary beauty, often obese, pregnant, mature or crippled. Most of the works are characterized by vulgar eroticism or even a praise of ugliness, but all of them show the irresistible fascination with the human body.

Jan Saudek became known first in Western Europe and the United States and then later  in the Czech Republic, but he always described himself as a “Czech photographer”. His work has been presented at dozens of exhibitions around the world and can now be seen in a permanent exhibition at 9 Celetná St. in Prague.

Sources: saudek.comgalerieart.cz

Written by Aleksandra Jurek
Translated by United Creativity

 

Biennale Brno 2012

From June 21st – October 28th, The Moravian Gallery in Brno hosted the biggest European overview of contemporary posters, books, typography and visual arts. Brno Biennale has been held since 1963 and this year we have the 25th anniversary edition. This year’s review aims to not only present the work of artists, but also to define new trends in contemporary graphic design.

The Biennale consists of an international competition for graphic designers, an international symposium, six exhibitions and a series of accompanying events: concerts, film screenings, lectures, workshops and activities for children. 300 works by 141 artists from 23 countries were entered to the competition. This includes artists from the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Japan and China. The main prize was awarded to Dutch designers – Armand Mevis and Linda van Deursen for their Temporary Stedelijk program designed for the Museum of Modern Art in Amsterdam. The jury consisted of renowned art theorists and designers from around the world.

Six major exhibitions can be seen at this year’s Biennial. The most prestigious of these was dedicated to the Dutch anarchist movement Pravo, prepared by the experimental studio Jetset. The movement, active for only two years (1965-1967), criticized Dutch society and tried to change it through a variety of actions, utopian projects and diverse kinds of street art. The best-known action was to set-up squats in one of Amsterdam’s neighborhoods in protest against its demolition.

The exhibitions can be seen in the buildings of the Moravian Gallery (Místodržitelský palác and Uměleckoprůmyslové museum). Brno Biennale is organized by the Moravian Gallery in Brno and the Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic.

More information can be found here:  www.bienalebrno.org

Sources: moravska-galerie.cz, designportal.cz, kultura.idnes.cz

Written by Aleksandra Jurek
Translated by United Creativity

Another London through Marketa Luskacova’s lenses – Tate Britain, London

Marketa Luskacova was born in 1944 in Prague. She is considered one of the best Czech social photographers to date. After emigrating to England in 1975, she started photographing London’s markets (Portobello Road, Brixton and Spitalfields).

Her photographs are now to be seen at Tate Britain in London as a part of Another London exhibition. The show will display 80 classic twentieth-century photographs, which  highlight the vibrancy of the city as a dynamic metropolis, richly diverse and full of contrast. Her work will be shown along the photographs taken by some renowned photographers including Bill Brandt, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Frank, Dora Maar, Irving Penn and many more.

More of Marketa Luskacova’s photographs can be seen on her website and here.

Another London
Tate Britain
27 July – 16 September 2012

Written by United Creativity

Source: Wikipedia, Tate website, Czech Centre London

Photo:
W
oman and man with bread, Spitafields, London 1976
© Markéta Luskačová

Prague Underwater

A unique exhibition showing 88 photographs taken by 31 photographers will be open from 26th July inCzech Photo Gallery. This will mark the 10th anniversary of the flood drama in 2002. The exhibition will be open daily except Mondays, until 2nd September.