František Drtikol, Jaromír Funke, Josef Sudek
November 14, 2023 - December 22, 2023
This selection of avant-garde Czech photography focuses on rare vintage works by two seminal figures, František Drtikol and Josef Sudek. Each created exquisite prints that added dimension to their innovative visions.
František Drtikol’s (1883-1961) photographs are distinctly emblematic of the Art Deco period (1920s and 30s) by merging styles of Symbolism, Pictorialism, and Modernism. Though most known for his Pictorial images of nudes in Modernist stagings, we highlight a series from the early 1930s he referred to as “photopurism.” In this series, he photographed paper cut-outs and carved wood figures, as Mannerist silhouettes of the human form, in geometric abstract environments, to explore themes of Buddhism. He gave up photography in 1935 to concentrate on painting.
Josef Sudek (1896-1976), after having lost his right arm in combat during World War I, devoted his life to photography. Working with a large format camera, he stayed close to home. He primarily worked in his studio in Prague, photographing intricately constructed still lifes and atmospheric views through his studio window, as well as portraits, landscapes and his city. Though Sudek chose seemingly conventional subjects, his delicate prints convey the poetic magic of the photographic medium.
In addition, we present an iconic image by Sudek’s early teacher, Jaromír Funke.