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SEOUL - Jan Saudek’s Photographs at Czech Centre

Under the title „Goodbye, Jan“ 25 photographs of Jan Saudek are the inaugural exhibition of recently opened Czech Centre Seoul. With this small selection of Saudek´s retrospective, which toured galleries in Seoul, Chuncheon, Daegu, Gwangju and Busan in the last twelve months, Korean public can bid farewell to works of this world famous Czech photographed until June 21, 2013..


„Oh, those fabulous Brom sisters‘“ (1989)

Jan Saudek’s dreamy, controversial, and sexually explicit photographs are on display at Czech Centre Seoul (http://seoul.czechcentres.cz) from May 22–June 21, 2013 (opens Tuesdays-Saturdays). The exhibition, which displays 25 works created by the Czech artist in the last four decades, explores relationships between spouses, parents and children, and lovers. Though Saudek’s earliest works from the 1960s include several straightforward black-and-whites, „many of his later, hand-painted photographs depict peculiar, posed scenarios paired with clever titles. All of the images demonstrate a range of nude forms, and confront traditional gender roles as well as social ones,“ says Ines Min of BlouninArtinfo. Saudek´s photographs depict kind of a dream-world, often inhabited by nude or semi-nude figures surrounded by bare plaster walls (being an original wall of his partly underground flat, turned studio since the early 1970s) or painted backdrops are a real success all around the world since the 1970s.



Born in 1935 Prague, Saudek had a fascination with cameras since childhood and grew to prominence for his work in the 1970s. He is regarded today as one of the Czech Republic’s most prominent photographers, although his sensational work at times draws censorship for his subject material — i.e., the occasional debut of nude children.

Jan Saudek belongs among the most succesful Czech photographers of all times. There are at least a dozen Czech photographers who became famous in the world in the last century – František Drtikol, author of famous 1920s avant-garde cubist nude photos.  or Josef Sudek known for his poetic, often black and white photographs of Prague made in the mid-20th century, or Josef Koudelka, still active Magnum reporter and photographer, but of all these great artists, only Jan Saudek became a really household name in his home country and abroad. But it was not an easy way as – during the communist times in the 1970s and 1980s – his works were only seen in a clandestine way, as he was not allowed to exhibit and publish. While his first exhibition in the United States was staged already in 1969 it predated his first big shows in the Czech Republic almost by a quarter of a century, when – after a fall of communism – the Czechs could enjoy his works for the first time on the exhibitions – and he really became an extremely popular artist, whose style is easily recognized by every Czech, regardless his interest in photography and art.

„Goodbye, Jan“ exhibition is a final extension of the traveling large-scale retrospective which started at Insa Art Center in Seoul last year. The local exhibition has also been shown in Daegu, Chuncheon, Gwangju and Busan.

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