Josef Sudek, Kinsky Garden, 1952, pigmented carbon print. Private Collection.

Josef Sudek as Realist

Friday, 10 March 2017, at 18:30
Concordia University, EV-1.605 (map)

Ann Thomas
Senior Curator of the Canadian Photography Institute at the National Gallery of Canada

Highly regarded in the history of twentieth-century photography, Josef Sudek is perceived as a representative of Czech photography. But Sudek, who was active from 1917-1976, experienced enormous shifts in terms of style and thinking about photography as an art form. Running the gamut from Pictorialism, Modernism, and Neuesachlickheit, social documentary to performative and conceptualist uses of the medium, Sudek’s work reflects this richly experimental and adaptive practice, and its relationship to photographic practice transnationally.
Josef Sudek as Realist traces his transition from Pictorialism to Modernism, the impact of both schools on his work from the 1940s to the late 50s, and the influence of Drahomir Ruzicka.  It then considers the dictates of advertising photography's international market. Open to Modernist experimentation and adapting his style to commercial demands, Sudek developed printmaking and presentation strategies that were unique to his practice, remaining committed to photography as a vehicle of personal expression.

Ann Thomas is Senior Curator of the Canadian Photography Institute at the National Gallery of Canada where she is responsible for contributing to the development, interpretation and dissemination of the collection through exhibitions, publications, and lectures. Her most recent exhibitions are Donald McCullin (2013) and The Great War and the Persuasive Power of Photography (2014) and The Intimate World of Joseph Sudek (2016) co-curated with Vladimir Birgus and Ian Jeffrey.


Of Related Interest:
Ann Thomas, National Gallery of Canada

The Intimate World of Josef Sudek, NGC

The Photographs of Josef Sudek: A Poetic Vision