The exhibition Sudek, Funke, Drtikol… Czech and Slovak Photography from the PPF Collection at the Regional Gallery in Liberec presents 150 years of Czech and Slovak photography in 131 original photographs. The exhibition in the Swimming Pool Hall and Gallery at the former city baths in Liberec will be open from today until 30 September 2018.
“The exhibition is based on one of the largest private collections in the Czech Republic, and our aim is to present a balanced overview of a medium that, especially with the ascent of the avant-garde, confidently became part of contemporary art,” says one of the exhibition’s curators, Luděk Lukuvka.
The exhibition covers photography’s chronology from fin de siècle pictorialism to the present day. Photography has always held up a mirror to society, and the medium’s development between 1870 and 2018 is also a social commentary. This will be the first time such a comprehensive selection of the finest photographs from the PPF collection has ever been displayed. “The exhibition at the Regional Gallery in Liberec is the most complete and extensive exhibition from our collection to date. Previously we’ve only ever exhibited smaller samples from the collection, covering specific themes. Richard Gere came to one of these exhibitions, as he’s a great admirer of Josef Sudek’s work. There was also an exhibition at the Douglas Hyde Gallery in Dublin, which showed a selection of Josef Sudek’s photographs from the PPF collection to mark the 120th anniversary of his birth, and it attracted a lot of attention in Ireland,” says PPF Art’s Managing Director, Jan Řehák.
Photographs from Josef Sudek’s best-known series are an important part of the exhibition. There is also work by other prominent Czech photographers such as Jaromír Funke, František Drtikol and Jaroslav Rössler. Contemporary photographers include Ivan Pinkava, Jiří Thýn, Alena Kotzmannová, the duo Jasanský–Polák, and Václav Jirásek, who won the 2017 Czech Grand Design award for photographer of the year. “Another important aspect of the exhibition is to highlight Slovak photography, as its history intertwines with Czech photography, naturally. Without Slovak photography our overview of photography’s development in this country would be incomplete,” says Luděk Lukuvka. Slovak photographers at the exhibition include Jano Pavlík and, from the Slovak New Wave, Miro Švolík, Tono Stano, Rudo Prekop and Vasil Stanko.
Photolaboratories for children
Over the summer the photography exhibition at the Regional Gallery in Liberec will be accompanied by week-long photography studios for children. These three Photolaboratories are intended for children aged 6-12 and will focus on working and experimenting with photographic techniques. “The summer holidays are ideal for working with children, and we want to get young people interested in photography and art from an early age. The gallery should be a place that is full of life,” says Jan Randáček, the director of the Regional Gallery in Liberec, adding that fringe programmes run by the gallery’s Education Department play an important role in pursuing this philosophy. The courses will be led by young photographers, who will also organise an exhibition of photographs by children attending the courses. These summer art studios will be held on 16-20 July, 13-17 August and 27-31 August 2018.
Exhibition: Sudek, Funke, Drtikol… Czech and Slovak Photography from the PPF Collection
Venue: Regional Gallery in Liberec, Swimming Pool Hall and Gallery
Dates: 21 June – 30 September 2018
Curators: Lucie Mlynářová, Luděk Lukuvka