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Apr 11, 2008 12:00 AM - May 9, 2008 12:00 AM

Czech Avant-Garde Photography: Jaromír Funke and Eugen Wiškovský

Photography exhibition at the Czech Center. April 11– May 17. Opening Reception: April 11, 6:30 pm, Czech Center New York

Czech Avant-Garde Photography:

Jaromír Funke and Eugen Wiškovský, Master and Student 2

April 11– May 9 Opening Reception: April 11, 6:30 pm
Czech Center New York



            The exhibition Czech Avant-Garde Photography: Jaromír Funke and Eugen Wiškovský, Master and Student 2, a sequel to last year's František Drtikol and Jaroslav Rössler, Master and Student 1, presents two more leading figures in Czech avant-garde photography, both of whose work was featured in the traveling show Foto: Modernism in Central Europe, 1918–1945, seen at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, and the Milwaukee Art Museum, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

            In addition to his work as a photographer, Jaromír Funke (18961945) was also a theoretician and photography critic, a teacher at the art schools in Bratislava and Prague, and editor of the journal Fotografický obzor ("Photographic Horizon"). After concentrating on landscape and genre photography, in 1924 Funke turned to Constructivism, modern still lifes, detail views of machines and mechanical objects in the style of New Objectivity, and abstract compositions using light and shadow. He was also the first Czech photographer to reflect the influence of Surrealism in his work. Next to František Drtikol and Josef Sudek, Funke is the most widely recognized Czech photographer of the modern era.

            The work of Funke's friend Eugen Wiškovský (18881964) represents one of the most inventive examples of the Constructivist and New Objectivist styles, seeking artistic effect in seemingly nonaesthetic objects, thus highlighting their unexpected metaphorical meanings. His landscape photographs are also unique, often utilizing the technique of form analogies. Wiškovský authored several important essays on photographic theory, employing insights from the discipline of psychology. Although Funke was a student of Wiškovský's at the gymnasium in Kolín, when it came to creating photographs, Funke was the master and Wiškovský was the student.

            The Czech Center New York will be showing the work of both photographers in enlargements from the original negatives, which are part of the portfolios published by the Prague House of Photography. Monographs on both artists, issued by the Torst publishing house in Prague, will also be for sale: Jaromír Funke (essay by Antonín Dufek) and Eugen Wiškovský (essay by Vladimír Birgus).


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From: Apr 11, 2008 12:00 AM
To: May 9, 2008 12:00 AM


České centrum

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