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Prague Hosts Three Exhibitions of Josef Koudelka Photographs

The Museum of Decorative Arts and the National Gallery in Prague have organized three unique exhibitions of photographs by Josef Koudelka, one of the most important Czech 20th century photographers. Don’t miss any of them.

  • UPM / Josef Koudelka: Returning
  • UPM / Josef Koudelka: Returning
  • UPM / Josef Koudelka: Returning
  • NG / Koudelka: De-creazione
  • NG / Koudelka: De-creazione
  • NG / Koudelka: De-creazione

“I have to shoot at least three rolls of film a day even if I don’t have a photo shoot planned just to keep my practiced eye.” Josef Koudelka

The first exhibition, Josef Koudelka: Returning is installed in the newly-renovated Museum of Decorative Arts building; the second exhibition, entitled Koudelka: De-creazione, is being held in the Trade Fair Palace in Holešovice.  Both these exhibitions run from March 22 to September 23, 2018.  The Trade Fair Palace will also host the third one, Koudelka: Invasion 1968 & Archival Footage by Jan Němec, which can be visited from August 22, 2018 till January 6, 2019.

For decades, Koudelka has been a world leader in the field and is so far the only Czech member of the prestigious Magnum Photos agency. His images are characterized by their visually distinctive original expression. He has won numerous awards, his photographs can be found in the world's leading collections, and he has participated in numerous exhibitions.

Josef Koudelka, born in Boskovice, Czechoslovakia, celebrated his 80th birthday in January 2018. His creative beginnings are connected with the theatre - in 1961, his first exhibition was held at the Semafor Theatre, and he later worked with the Behind the Gate Theatre as well as Divadlo magazine. The defining moment that shaped Koudelka’s career was his now-legendary images of the Soviet invasion of Prague in 1968. His immediate and very impressive photographs, captured during the first days of the occupation, were successfully smuggled abroad and later published worldwide by Magnum Photos. Koudelka then travelled to eastern Slovakia, where he trained his lens on the ethnic Roma. He continued to explore this theme after emigrating to Great Britain in 1970. Other significant projects arose from his travels abroad, including photographs of scenery and landscapes.

Koudelka donated a large and important collection of photographs to the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, representing a cross-section of his life’s work. This gift made the extensive retrospective exhibition Josef Koudelka / Returning possible. Visitors can see photographs from all of Koudelka’s major series to date: Beginnings, Experiments, Theatre, Gypsies, Invasion 68, Exiles, Panorama. Some images will be on public display for the first time ever.

The exhibition is open daily except Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (Tuesdays until 8:00 p.m.). The entrance fee is CZK 150; students and seniors CZK 80; families (2 adults and 3 children) CZK 250. 

The exhibition Koudelka: De-creazione at the Trade Fair Palace features a thematic series that the artist created for the first presentation of the Holy See at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.  The sequence of eighteen large-format photographs depicts the effects of time on human history and the environment, natural disasters, war conflicts, and nature in connection with the industrial world.

The exhibition Koudelka: Invasion 1968 & Archival Footage by Jan Němec is also held in the Fair Trade Palace and it is organised in order to commemorate the 50th anniversary from the invasion of the Warsaw Pact troops into Prague. The exhibition features photographs that captures this tragedy and Němec‘ film footages which he took directly in Prague’s streets in 1968.

The exhibition on the 5th floor is open daily except Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. The entrance fee is CZK 150; students and seniors CZK 80; families (2 adults and 3 children) CZK 250. 

The exhibition, in the Small Hall (Malá dvorana) of the Trade Fair Palace, is open daily except Mondays from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

 

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