Stark, impassioned, and singularly intense, the work of the itinerant and fiercely independent Czech photographer, Josef Koudelka, has received deserved acclaim over the past three decades for having made a uniquely significant contribution to the language of photography. This major new monograph presents the most comprehensive survey of Koudelka's work to date, bringing together more than 150 of his most eloquent images—from his earliest, many published here for the first time, to his most recent: mesmerizing studies of the European landscape made with a panoramic camera. Whether photographing Prague's avant-garde theater scene in the 1960s, the secretive world of the Eastern European gypsies, Czech resistance to the Soviet advance on Prague, or the environmental degradation of our postindustrial world, Koudelka has consistently produced transformative images that stand outside of time and place. In the words of the legendary French photography-world figure and Koudelka's longtime champion and publisher, Robert Delpire,
Koudelka brings an intense eye and full heart to each place, object, and person. This work proves once again that he is a photographer with unique personality and power. Beautifully produced with duotone printing and three gatefolds, this volume also contains eight original essays, each exploring a different aspect of Koudelka's work and illustrating the artist's constant evolution and intensity.
From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Revealing the breadth of Josef Koudelka's artistic achievement, this lavish collection gathers over 150 of the photographer's major works in one volume for the first time. Born in 1938 in Moravia (now in the Czech Republic), Koudelka grew up behind the Iron Curtain and trained to be an aeronautical engineer. His early images, including production stills for a Czech repertory theater company and tense shots of the Soviet invasion of Prague demonstrate the rigorous compositional eye, taste for the theatrical and otherworldly strangeness that define his work. The pictures are always accessible, but Koudelka's arrangements and printing style push much of his work toward somber dreaminess. (Some of the brief monographs interspersed with the pictures are informative; others are filled with pretentious jargon.) After his exile from Czechoslovakia in 1970, he quickly found a home at the renowned Magnum agency with the support of Cartier-Bresson. In Koudelka's subsequent work—a series on Gypsies; stunning, nearly abstract landscapes; the shipping of a colossal Lenin statue through the Balkans—he remains a poet with a lens, capturing a deeply personal vision while documenting the real world. This collection confirms Koudelka's status as one of the most versatile and singular age-makers in contemporary photography. (Mar.)
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Hardcover: 275 pages
Publisher: Aperture; First Edition edition (March 1, 2007)
Product Dimensions: 29,7 x 3,5 x 29cm
Shipping Weight: 2,3kg
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