Synopses & Reviews
Josef Sudek was Prague's Atget. From the mid-1920s until his death in 1976, Sudek photographed everything--the Gothic and Baroque architecture, the streets and objects--usually leaving the frame free of people. Where Atget photographed the social realities of Paris, Sudek captured a more subjective experience of the city where he was born. Because he was reclusive, a large portion of Sudek's body of work was captured through his studio window--he was particularly fond of how the glass refracted light. The Window of My Studio series, spanning from the beginning of the Second World War to the first half of the 1950s, has never previously been compiled in one volume. This publication presents the series, which was of fundamental importance to Sudek, for it caused his work to verge even more into a Surreal or Magical Realist style, with blurred images and strong shadows. Photography historian Anna Farova contributes an introduction and an extensive biographical chronology to this volume, which also includes a complete bibliography of portfolios, books and catalogues of Sudek's work, as well as a complete list of his exhibitions--information that is difficult to find elsewhere. The publication has been produced in collaboration with the Art Gallery of Ontario.
The series of photographs that Joseph Sudek created in the Mionsi Forest of Morovia's Beskid Mountains is perhaps the most classically Romantic and visually stunning body of work ever made by this important Czech photographer. In the late 1920s, while shooting the interior of Prague's iconic Cathedral of St. Vitus during its final phase of completion, Sudek learned a great deal about light. Years later, alone, deep in the virgin forest, he lay in wait for the light that he knew would lend the ancient trees their ghostly aspect--finding graceful compositions in isolated wilderness. Photography historian Antonin Dufek penned the introduction to this volume, which is the first to present such a comprehensive set of Sudek's photographs of the Mionsi Forest, the ruins surrounding Hukvaldy castle and the foothills of the Beskids.
Josef Sudek, born in 1896 in Kolin, was a bookbinder and amateur photographer for several years before studying at the State School of Graphic Arts with Karel Novak. Along with a handful of other young Modernists, he founded the Czech Photographic Society in 1924. While maintaining a successful commercial career, Sudek nurtured a lifelong, Romantic fascination with light and mood. He died at the age of 80 in 1976.