Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Photography Exhibitions in Prague

Every year my work has an annual European Sales Meeting. Last year was Berlin and this year was Prague. I managed to go out a few days early and spend the weekend doing some sight seeing and exploring. It's such a beautiful city, the Old Town in particular as well as the cathedral of course. I'm a big fan of Art Nouveau and Mucha and seeing the window he designed was really cool! I took a few of the standard shots of the Charles Bridge and the surroundings, but also had time to spend the day in the zoo (lots of bats which made me super happy) watching the Komodo Dragons getting their ratty food. The Jewish Quarter was very interesting as well, although the tribute to the Holocaust especially the children's art from the Ghetto made me cry.

I did take some time to see two photography exhibitions. The first was in Josef Sudek's gallery near the castle. It took me a little while to find and when I finally did I realised I'd walked past it twice oops. There was an exhibition of photos by Ota Hajek. The description on the website and on the back of the flier says :

In the 1980s, Hostinné — a town in the Krkonoše foothills — became an important venue for many Czech artists. The photographer Ota Hájek (1932 Pardubice—1996 Hostinné) was one of the organizers of local cultural events. He started as a photographer in the 1950s, when he befriended Jiří Toman. In later years in Hostinné, he continued his documentary work in collaboration with visiting artists to the Ancient Art Gallery. Frequently remembered is his friendship with Adriena Šimotová, as well as with architect Alena Šrámková, sculptor Jiří Seifert, photographer Bohdan Holomíček and the interpreter of Hájek’s oeuvre, Jaromír Zemina. Besides photography and the fine arts, Ota Hájek had a lifelong passion for jazz music.

I've included the picture form the flier and the adverts for the exhibition below.

The two pictures that really stood out to me where one with a cyclist riding through a triangle of light. The bike had a lovely shadow that had come out really strongly and I liked the contrast of the light area and dark bike and it's shadow on the ground. The shapes made a big impact as well. The second was on a digital screen that alternated between a number of different prints. It was of a man in the kitchen chopping vegetables. I really liked the composition, depth of field and somehow the feel of it. It seemed so homely, the man seemed very comfortable in what he was doing and it made me miss my home.

The second exhibition I was able to attend was at the Museum of Decorative Arts (some information on the Museum can be found here). It's a mixture of different media including an amazing display of clocks (I loved the Art Nouveau ones), fashion, glass and ceramics and graphic arts and photography. I spent most of my time looking at the photography and graphic arts of course and made sure to open all the draws and not miss a thing!

The picture below is Head Mask by Miroslav Hak. The light is just stunning here and the tilt of the mask really brings a feeling of emotion. Each time I look at it I can't decide if the head is looking up or down. The looking down perspective makes me feel they are shy and saying a modest thank you. Looking up to me it becomes an expression of joy.

This picture is Wave by Frantisek Drtikol. I love the shape and lines of the body within the larger wave theme. It's so hard to arch your back that much so I have a lot of respect for the model! Nudes is an area I would love to shoot, it's just finding a willing participant among my group of friends...

My tutor had recommended I check out three photographers who had taken noteworthy pictures in Prague. The only one I was able to find on display was Josef Sudek and they had a series of his prints on display here. These were my favourite three.

Taken from his studio window (he did a series of these including a lovely one called The Last Rose). The different colour roses works really well with the condensation on the window and the lines of water.

A Walk in the Magic Garden - I love the lone hat in this, it's like the owner got lost exploring the magical garden and all that was found was his hat that he accidentally left behind or which flew off by a gust of wind as he was sucked into a fairy portal (hey I can dream).

From a Series at St Victus Cathedral - This was by far my favourite. Look at the lines of both the light and the pillars, what's to to love. The tones and colour of the shafts of light are really evocative too.

No comments:

Post a Comment