'Photography is something concrete, a perception, what you see with your eyes. And it happens so fast that you may not see anything at all! The flaws are part of it. That's what makes the poetry, gives it the painterly quality. To photograph is to paint with light.' –Miroslav Tichý
In Room #6 KEWENIG presents a selection of black and white photographs by Czech artist Miroslav Tichý (1926–2011). Although he initiated his career as a painter and draughtsman after his studies at the highly acclaimed Academy of Arts in Prague in the late 1940s, Tichý has become known for his unconventional, voyeuristic photographs of girls and women from his hometown of Kyjov in Moravia, taken from the 1960s through the 1990s.
Tichý was fascinated by the female figure, with its soft, flowing lines and bulbous curves. His photographs never appear indiscrete or sexist, but are rather an homage to womanhood, which at times transforms into an almost religious adoration. Partly shot with selfmade cameras of cardboard tubes and metal cans and then mounted on hand-made passe-partouts, enhanced with finishing touches in pencil, the resulting works are always unique. With their strikingly unusual formal qualities the works disregard the rules of conventional photography. They constitute a large oeuvre of poetic, dreamlike views of feminine beauty in all its manifestations in a small town under the Czechoslovak Communist regime.
Miroslav Tichý died in 2011 aged 48 in his hometown Kyjov, where he had lived a reclusive life. His work was exhibited for the first time by Harald Szeemann at the Biennale de Sevilla in 2004 and afterwards by numerous museums and institutions worldwide such as the Kunsthaus Zurich (2005); the Central European House of Photography, Bratislava (2007); the MMK – Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt (2008); the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2008); the International Center of Photography, New York (2010); or the MMAM – Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow (2012). Works by the artist are part of renouned institutional collections such as V&A - Victoria and Albert Museum, London; SFMOMA – San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; Magasin 3 - Stockholm Konsthall, Stockholm; Haus der Photographie Deichtorhallen (F.C. Gundlach Collection), Hamburg. The artist's estate is represented by the Tichý Ocean foundation in Prague.
Press release courtesy KEWENIG.