Czech avant-garde and contemporary photography 1920 – present
co-curated by Paola Paleari

Museo di Roma in Trastevere, Rome
May 27 – July 19, 2015

Click here to read the text I wrote for the exhibition.

The exhibition Czech Fundamental is organized by gallery Photo Edition Berlin in collaboration with Museo di Roma in Trastevere and Centro Sperimentale di Fotografia, Rome.
The retrospective show engages the viewer in a dialogue between old and new – Czech photography from the very beginnings of the avant-garde in the 1920s, to a broad selection of contemporary artists whose works exhibit an individual, authorial or experimental approach to the medium. Featured are photographs fundamental to the development of a specifically Czech vision – Frantisek Drtikol’s nudes, Jaroslav Rossler’s and Jaromir Funke’s contemplative compositions, surreal arrangements by Vaclav Zykmund and Josef Sudek’s poetic still-lifes.
The first section of the exhibition presents Constructivism, Surrealism and New Objectivity from 1920 – 1945. The second section presents Art Informel, Surrealism, Minimalism from the Post-war era to the 1970s. Staged Photography, Postmodernism and New Experimentation from the 1990s forms the third and final section, featuring the very different modern and contemporary visions of Czech and Slovak photographers who became prominent in the 1990s. They represent the last mature generation not absorbed into globalization and digitalization, a phenomenon which has made all but impossible the presentation of photography – as Czech – in the decades following.


Over 180 works by 43 photographers are presented in 3 sections and include the artists (among others):

1. Origins of the Avant-garde 1920-1945
Constructivism, Poetism, Surrealism, New Objectivity
Frantisek Drtikol, Jaroslav Rossler, Jaromir Funke, Eugen Wiškovský, Milos Korecek, Vaclav Zykmund, Ladislav Emil Berka.

2. Post-war to 1970s
Surrealism, Minimalism, Art Informel
Josef Sudek, Vilem Reichmann, Miroslav Hak, Jan Svoboba, Emila Medkova, Eva Fuka, Bela Kolarova, Milota Havrankova, Miroslav Tichy.

3. Photography at the beginning of a new era – the 1990s
Staged Photography, Postmodernism, New Experimentation
Jan Saudek, Aleš Kuneš, Suzanne Pastor, Nadia Rovderova, Jiri Sigut, Eliška Bartek, Stepan Grygar, Miro Svolik, Tono Stano, Peter Zupnik, Ivan Pinkava.

A catalogue was published in conjunction with the exhibition.


Click here to listen to the podcast dedicated to Czech Fundamental by RAM – Radio Arte Mobile.