„Dám hodně na instinkt. Člověk ho nikdy nesmí otupit tím, že by chtěl vědět všechno. I kdyby se mu to nakrásně povedlo, ztratí instinkt a bude jenom všechno vědět...” - Josef Sudek [KŘESŤAN 1976]
PRIVATISSIMA - POZNÁMKY, 50. - 70. LÉTA
6. 9.—21. 10. 2007
CV — Josef Sudek
The world-renowned Czech photographer Josef Sudek was born in Kolín in 1896 and died in Prague in 1976.
Respected both home and abroad, Josef Sudek became one of the legendary figures of the Czech art scene. Born the son of a painter and decorator in Kolín, he received all of his general education at the village school in Nové Dvory near Kutná Hora. Trained as a bookbinder, he was mostly self-taught as a photographer, though he also studied at the State School of Graphic Arts in Prague. He was a member of the Club of Amateur Photographers in Prague’s Žižkov and the Mánes Society of Fine Artists.
Josef Sudek served as a soldier in the First World War and returned from the Italian front without his right arm. For a while he lived in the Invalidovna veterans’ hospital in Prague’s Karlín. It was there that he made his first major series, The Invalidovna, between 1922 and 1927. He turned down an office job and pursued his life’s calling.
His work since the early 20th century reflects all the developmental trends in modern photography. Beginning with the 1920s he was inspired by Prague. His popular series include the Autumn in Stromovka Park, The Embankments of the Vltava, and Interiors (made just before the completion of St. Vitus’ Cathedral). He also found inspiration in nature, as reflected in his series such as the Slovak Landscape, Landscape near Žebrák, Landscapes of South Bohemia, and Landscapes along the Elbe. Until the Second World War, Sudek also devoted his time to advertising, art reproduction, and portrait photography.
Beginning in 1940, Sudek developed his unique style of contact prints, which he used to work on his personal themes, organised in extensive series that spanned long periods of time. That was the time when his individual contribution to global art was reaching its prime. His other major series include Glass Labyrinths, Labyrinths, and Memories.
Josef Sudek took part in countless exhibitions at home and abroad. He published several books of photographs on Prague and the Prague Castle. His first monograph was published in Prague in 1956. Since his death, a vast amount of books on his life and work have been published both home and abroad.