No Dado artist photography students

Josef Sudek

Josef Sudek

Born in Bohemia, now part of today’s Czech Republic.

Josef Sudek’s portfolio extends beyond boundaries, encompassing still life, urban scenes, portraits, and commercial commissions. Throughout his journey as an artist, he traversed through various genres, but in his later years, he gravitated back to his intrinsic love for landscapes.

He was initially a bookbinder apprentice, fate diverged his path when World War I intervened, resulting in a life-altering injury—a partial amputation of his right arm due to friendly fire. Despite this setback, Sudek’s spirit remained undeterred. In the 1920s, he delved into the art of photography under the tutelage of Jaromir Funke in Prague, immersing himself primarily in the Pictorialist style. Dissonance with traditionalist views led to his expulsion from a local camera club, prompting him to establish the forward-thinking Czech Photographic Society in 1924.

Amidst the tumult of World War II and its aftermath, Sudek’s lens captured haunting nightscapes and panoramas of Prague, immortalized the wooded landscapes of Bohemia, and immortalized the enchanting play of light through the windows of his atelier (the renowned ‘The Window of My Atelier’ series). His studio became a canvas as well, as he depicted its cluttered interiors in the ‘Labyrinths’ series.

Sudek’s avant-garde spirit often clashed with the post-war Czech Socialist Republic’s ethos, yet the profound artistic heritage of his homeland offered him refuge and support. Recognizing his artistic prowess, the Republic bestowed upon him the title of ‘Artist of Merit,’ and in his 70th year, he was honored with the ‘Order of Labour’ for his lifetime of contribution.

Dubbed the “Poet of Prague,” Sudek led a solitary existence, he never marriage and led a reclusive life. Rarely seen at his own exhibitions, his photographs were devoid of human presence, reflecting his introspective and contemplative disposition.