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Past exhibitions

Jan Saudek: The Divine Comedy

By 17. 6. 2010 April 15th, 2019 No Comments

Jan Saudek
The Divine Comedy

17.06.2010 – 24.07.2010
20:00

Jan Saudek: The Divine Comedy Jan Saudek was born in Prague in 1935. His first attempts at photography were made when he received his first camera at the age of 15. In the years that followed, he was also drawn to painting. His artistic work was heavily influenced by the catalogue of the photography exhibition […]

Jan Saudek
The Divine Comedy

Jan Saudek was born in Prague in 1935. His first attempts at photography were made when he received his first camera at the age of 15. In the years that followed, he was also drawn to painting. His artistic work was heavily influenced by the catalogue of the photography exhibition The Family of Man by Edward Steichen in 1963 that helped him find his typical “wall” composition in the early 1970s, which became a sort of projection screen for his figural scenes. In the following years, his international recognition grew quickly and he cooperated with numerous artists, including Paule Pia, Kartsen Fricke, Marlene and Jean-Pierre Vorlet, Pierre Borhan, Anita Neugebauer and David Travis. His first book of photography, Il teatro della vita, was published in Milan in 1981. Shortly afterwards he devoted himself fully to his work as a free-lance photographer. In 1990 he received the French Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and the French director Jerome de Missolz made a film about him with the title Jan Saudek – Prague printemps 1990. In 2005 he published his most extensive book, SAUDEK, which was accompanied by a large retrospective exhibition in Prague.
Today, Jan Saudek is hailed as the most renowned Czech photographer. His work has been featured in over 400 solo and group exhibitions worldwide, and included in the most important world collections.

“The best-known Czech photographer. Adored and rejected, praised and disdained, honoured and cursed. Holding a unique place in the Czech and world history of photography. For he is a solitaire, one of a kind. His artistic work follows no belief systems and no time periods; he cannot be labelled, he cannot be categorised. Even if he is, he is left alone in his relevant class.
All Saudek’s work is very personal and in it, Saudek is very vulnerable. He is constantly taking the risk that viewers, driven to it by discomfort, prudery, or incomprehension, will start to feel annoyed and will start – laughing. Still, he has been aware of this risk all his life. But no matter how sensitive and controversial the aspects of human nature that his photographs discuss, ultimately these photographs are a monumental celebration of humankind. And it is this exceptional, exciting call for humanity, alien to nothing human, that makes Jan Saudek an entirely unique author in contemporary photography”

Daniela Mrázková, art theorist and critic

Jan Saudek

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