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Sudek: Images and Reflections. A summer exhibition at the Josef Sudek Studio presents Sudek’s original photographs.


25/6/2019 | 5 minutes to read

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Prague’s Josef Sudek Studio gallery will exhibit Josef Sudek’s original photographs from the collections of PPF Art and the Art History Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences. An untraditional exhibit will introduce the general public to Sudek’s works made on a custom basis for his painter friends alongside his own photographic art, which reflects the inspiration he drew from the world of painting.

Curators Lucie Mlynářová and Martin Pavlis chose photographs capturing the paintings and drawings by eight authors close to Sudek, including Emil Filla and Josef Navrátil, for the exhibit titled “Sudek: Images and Reflections”. Along with them, the exhibition presents the author’s own photographic art, reflecting the themes of the photographed paintings. The exhibition will be open at the Josef Sudek Studio from 28 June to 29 August 2019. The official opening is scheduled for 27 June 2019, 6 pm.

“We are happy to present these documentary photographs of works of art, largely unnoticed to this day, in the venue where many of them were made. This work, which was more of a routine for Sudek, provided him with some income while also influencing his photographic art. The exhibition’s curators carefully browsed Josef Sudek’s photographs in the collections of PPF Art and the Art History Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences (ÚDU AV ČR) and found his photographic art whose composition referenced the works of his painter friends, to be shown along with his reproduction and documentary photographs. We believe that this new perspective on Josef Sudek’s work will attract many Czech and international admirers of his work to the gallery this summer,” said Jan Řehák, Director of PPF Art.

The Josef Sudek Studio will present the photographs of works of artists who were starting out in the 1930s – Andrej Bělocvětov, Ota Janeček and Václav Sivko; the works of Josef Sudek’s peers is represented in the photographs of paintings by Emil Filla, Josef Navrátil, Vlastimil Rada, František Tichý and František Zikmund.

Sudek as an advertising and documentary professional

“I started photographing contemporary painters’ paintings. The thing has colours, but I have to put everything in black and white. Filla told me you could make the impression of colours with black and white…”

This recollection of Josef Sudek unveils the beginning of his endeavours in the field of photographing works of art. Emil Filla was one of the first painters who commissioned Sudek to make photographic reproductions of his works as a way to document his creations on an ongoing basis.

Sudek’s portraits in the darkroom
The installation in the Studio’s darkroom diverges from the general concept of the exhibition. The photographs exhibited there present portraits of Josef Sudek painted primarily by authors whose works are represented in the main part of the exhibit. The great majority are digital prints made from the original negatives.

Title of exhibition:  Sudek: Images and Reflections/Sudek: Obrazy a odrazy
Venue:                     Josef Sudek Studio
Timing:                    28 June – 29 August 2019
Curators:                 Lucie Mlynářová, Martin Pavlis
Installation:             Adéla Kremplová

Sudek: Images and Reflections is part of the NAKI II programme of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic with the title of Josef Sudek and Photographic Documentation of Works of Art: From a Private Art Archive to Representing the Cultural Heritage.

PPF Group financed the restoration of globally renowned Czech photographer Josef Sudek’s studio in Prague’s Újezd Street and its transformation into a gallery. PPF Art has been in charge of the gallery’s exhibition programme for two decades.

Information for editors
PPF Art cultivates PPF Group’s activities in art and culture. At the turn of the century, it started systematically building a Collection of Czech and Slovak photography, at the heart of which is an extensive collection of photographs by the world-renowned Czech photographer Josef Sudek. The other art collection is a set of 333 works of visual art, primarily paintings and sculptures, created by authors over the last two centuries. It includes the works of A. Mucha, J. Schikaneder, M. Medek, P. Nikl, T. Císařovský and many others.

PPF Art runs the exhibition programme at Prague’s Václav Špála Gallery in Národní třída and at the Josef Sudek Studio in Újezd. It loans artwork to other exhibitors in the Czech Republic and abroad.

PPF’s photography collection is probably the largest private collection of Czech and Slovak art photography. It currently encompasses 2,044 works by 192 authors spanning from the 1870s to the present time. It includes photographs by Josef Sudek, František Drtikol, Jaromír Funke, Ivan Pinkava, Tono Stano and others. A selection of the works in the collection can be viewed at

Art History Institute of the Czech Academy of Sciences
The Art History Institute has been part of the Czech Academy of Sciences ever since its inception in 1953. Its scholars focus on research in visual arts history and theory and on art history topography. They participate in both domestic and international research projects, curate exhibitions and write books and papers on art published in both domestic and international scholarly periodicals and almanacs. They teach in universities and lecture home and abroad. They also pay attention to the protection of cultural heritage. The most important projects include the several tomes of History of Czech Visual Arts and the listings of Art Heritage of Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia and Prague. Ever since its inception, the Institute has been publishing its internationally recognised specialised periodical, Umění/Art. The Institute has its own publishing house, Artefactum. The Art History Institute added a department of musicology in 2019. The windows of the Institute’s library (Window Gallery) regularly show exhibitions.

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