The first ever book dedicated to the evolution of the nude in Czech photography presents 250 works--famous and less well known, published as well as unpublished--from the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague in addition to several other public and private collections. Alfons Mucha's Parisian snapshots and Frantisek Drtikol's seminal photographs represent the transition from pictorialism to modern photography. The interwar years are represented by the more traditional nudes of Karel Novak, Jindrich Vanek, and Anton Josef Treka, as well as by the avant-garde work of Jaromír Funke, Frantisek Vobecky, Jindrich Styrsky, Karel Teige, Miroslav Hak, and Josef Ehm, which reflects the influences of Constructivism and Surrealism. We then see the period following World War II, when the exhibition and publication of photographic nudes was forbidden, yet exciting work was still being done on the subject by such artists as Josef Sudek, Karel Ludwig, and Václav Chochola; followed by the renaissance of the nude during the more liberal 1960s, most apparent in the internationally acclaimed work of Jan Saudek. The last part of the book offers an insight into more recent trends in the treatment of the nude by Czech photographers, including such artists as Tono Stanto, Rudo Prekop, Ivan Pinkava, Michael Macku, and Václav Jirásek. Hardcover, 9 x 11.25 inches, 206 pages, 18 color and 230 duotone illustrations.
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Vladimir Birgus is professor of photography at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague and is director of the Institute of Creative Photography at Silesian University. He is the author of several definitive works on the history of Czech photography, including "Czech Photography Today", "Czech Photography of the 1990s", and "Czech Photographic Avant-Garde 1918-1948", also available from Kant through D.A.P.
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