Josef Koudelka

Czech/French, b. Czechoslovakia 1938

Josef Koudelka, born in Moravia, made his first photographs while a student in the 1950s. About the same time that he started his career as an aeronautical engineer in 1961 he also began photographing Gypsies in Czechoslovakia and theater in Prague. He turned full-time to photography in 1967. The following year, Koudelka photographed the Soviet invasion of Prague, publishing his photographs under the initials P. P. (Prague Photographer) for fear of reprisal to him and his family. In 1969, he was anonymously awarded the Overseas Press Club's Robert Capa Gold Medal for those photographs.

Koudelka left Czechoslovakia for political asylum in 1970 and shortly thereafter joined Magnum Photos. In 1975, he brought out his first book Gypsies, and in 1988, Exiles. Since 1986, he has worked with a panoramic camera and issued a compilation of these photographs in his book Chaos in 1999. Koudelka has had more than a dozen books of his work published, including most recently in 2008 Invasion Prague 68.

He has won significant awards such as the Prix Nadar (1978), a Grand Prix National de la Photographie (1989), a Grand Prix Cartier-Bresson (1991), and the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography (1992). Significant exhibitions of his work have been held at the Museum of Modern Art and the International Center of Photography, New York; the Hayward Gallery, London; the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, Amsterdam; and the Palais de Tokyo, Paris.

 

Josef Koudelka est né en Moravie en 1938. D’abord ingénieur dans l’aéronautique, il s’est tourné entièrement vers la photographie vers la fin des années 1960. Ses photographies de l’intervention soviétique à Prague en 1968, publiées sous les initiales P. P. (pour “Photographe Praguois”), lui ont valu à titre anonyme la médaille d’or Robert Capa de l’Overseas Press Club.

En 1970, il fuit la Tchécoslovaquie comme réfugié politique et entre peu après à Magnum Photos. En 1975 est publiée la première version de Gitans, la fin du voyage, suivie de plus d’une douzaine d’autres livres, notamment Exils (1988), Chaos (1999) et Invasion Prague 68 (2008).

Koudelka a remporté plusieurs prix importants, dont le prix Nadar 1978, le grand prix national de la Photographie (1989), le grand prix Cartier-Bresson (1991) et le prix international de photographie de la Fondation Hasselblad (1992).

Son travail a fait l’objet d’expositions importantes au musée d’Art moderne et à l’International Center of Photography à New York, ainsi qu’à la Hayward Gallery (Londres), au Stedelijk Museum d’Amsterdam et au Palais de Tokyo à Paris. Le ministère français de la Culture l’a fait chevalier de l’ordre des Arts et Lettres en 1992.

Il est actuellement installé à Paris et à Prague.

 

 

Education

1956/61  Degree in Engineering, The Technical University of Prague, Czechoslovakia


Awards

2004       Cornell Capa Infinity Award, International Center of Photography, USA
1992       Erna and Victor Hasselblad Foundation Photography Prize, Sweden
1991       Grand Prix Henri Cartier-Bresson, France
1987       Grand Prix National de la Photographie, French Ministry of Culture, France
1980       National Endowment for the Arts Council, USA
1978       Prix Nadar, France
1976       British Arts Council Grant to cover life in the British Isles, UK
1973       British Arts Council Grant to cover Gypsy life in Britain, UK
1972       British Arts Council Grant to cover Kendal and Southend, UK
1969       Robert Capa Gold Medal Award, National Press Photographers Association, USA
1967       Award by Union of Czechoslovakian Artists, Czechoslovakia

 

Exhibitions

2003       Teatro del Tempo - Mercati di Traiano, Roma, Italy
2002/03  Rétrospective - Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie, Arles, France;
              Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City, Mexico;
              Museo de Arte Contemporaneo, Monterrey, Mexico
2002       Josef Koudelka : Fotograf - National Gallery, Prague, Czech      
              Republic
1999/01  Chaos - Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Roma, Italy; Cantieri Culturali della Zisa, 
              Palermo, Italy; Palazzo Marino alla Scala, Milano Italy; The Snellman Hall, 
              Helsinki, Finland; sala de exposiciones de Plaza de Espana, Madrid, Spain
1998       Reconnaissance: Wales - National Museums and Galleries of Wales, Cardiff, UK
1995/97  Periplanissis : following Ulysses' Gaze - Mylos, Thessaloniki, Greece; 
              Zapeion, Athens, Greece; Centre culturel Una Volta, Bastia, France;
              ville de Rodez, France; Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Tokyo, Japan;
              Museo di Storia della Fotografia, Fratelli Alinari, Firenze, Italy 
1994       Cerny trojuhelnik - Podkrusnohori : Fotografie 1990 -1994 (Black Triangle) -
              Salmovsky Palac, Prague,Czech Republic
1990       Josef Koudelka z Fotografickécho Dila 1958-1990
              Umeleckoprumyslové, Prague, Czechoslovakia
1989       Josef Koudelka, Mission  Transmanche - galerie de l'ancienne poste, Calais, France
1988/89  Josef Koudelka, Centre National de la Photographie, Palais de Tokyo, Paris,
              France; International Center of Photography, New York, USA; Akademie
              der Künste, Berlin; Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany; IVAM, Valencia, 
              Spain
1984       Josef Koudelka - Hayward Gallery, London, UK
1977       Gitans: la fin du voyage, Galerie Delpire, Paris; Kunsthaus Zürich, Zürich, 
              Switzerland; The Tel-Aviv Museum, Israel; Victoria & Albert Museum
1975       Josef Koudelka - The Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA
1968       Josef Koudela: Divaldeni fotografie – 1965-1968, Divadlo za branou, 
              Prague, Czechoslovakia
1967       Josef Koudela: Cikáni – 1961-1966 - Divadlo za branou, 
              Prague, Czechoslovakia
1961       Divadlo Semafor, Prague, Czechoslovakia

 

Books

2008       Invasion Prague 1968, Aperture, USA
2006       Koudelka, Delpire, France; Contrasto, Italy; Aperture, USA;
              Thames & Hudson, UK; Braus, Germany; Lunwerg, Spain; Fototorst, Czech      
              Republic
2006       Koudelka: Camargue, Actes Sud, France
2004       L'épreuve totalitaire (essay by Jean-Pierre Montier), Delpire, France
2003       Théâtre du Temps, Actes Sud, France; (Teatro del Tempo), Peliti Associati, Italy;
              Apeiron, Greece
2001       Lime Stone, La Martinière, France
1999       Chaos, Nathan/Delpire, France; Phaidon Press, UK; Federico Motta Editore, Italy
1998       Reconnaissance Wales, Ffotogallery/ National Museums and Galleries of Wales, 
              Cardiff, UK
1994       Cerný Trojuhelník - Podkrušnohorí : Fotografie 1990-1994 (The Black Triangle:
              The Foothills of the Ore Mountain)
Vesmir, Czech Republic
1993       Josef Koudelka, Hasselblad Center, Sweden
1993       Josef Koudelka: Fotografie Divadlo za branou 1965-1970, Divadlo za Branou II, 
              Czech Republic
1990       Prague 1968, Centre National de la Photographie, France
1990       Animal, Trois Cailloux/maison de la Culture d'Amiens, France
1989       Mission Photographique Transmanche, Editions de la Différence, France
1988/97  Exils, Centre National de la Photographie, France; Delpire éditeur, France (Exiles),
              Aperture, USA; Thames & Hudson, UK
1984       Photo Poche, Centre National de la Photographie, France
1982       Josef Koudelka: I Grandi Fotografi, Gruppo Editoriale Fabbri, Italy
1975       Gitans : la fin du voyage, Delpire, France; (Gypsies), Aperture, USA
1966       Kral Ubu: Rozbor inscenace Divadla Na Zabradli v Praze (with Alfred Jarry)
              Divadelni Ustav, Czechoslovakia
1965       Diskutujeme o moralce dneska, Nakladatelstvi Politické Literatury, Czechoslovakia