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"The maximum, that is what has always interested me"

- Josef Koudelka

b. 1938

Czech/French

Based in Paris, France

Contributor

Available for commissions
& assignments

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 Invasion Prague 68 (2008), and, most recently, La Fabrique d’Exils (2017).

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; the Institute of Chicago; the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; and the Pompidou Centre in Paris.

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Selected works

Newsroom

Invasion 68: Prague

Josef Koudelka

In 1968, Czech photographer Josef Koudelka captured images of the Prague Spring – it would take 40 years before he could publically acknowledge he was the author

Open story

From the Magnum Shop

Koudelka

Josef Koudelka
RARE & SIGNED
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Gypsies

Josef Koudelka
RARE & SIGNED
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Gypsies

Josef Koudelka
RARE & UNSIGNED
Shop

Lime

Josef Koudelka
RARE & UNSIGNED
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Most Recent

Arts & Culture

Desolate Beauty: Josef Koudelka’s Industrial Landscapes

Josef Koudelka

Past Exhibition
Lucca, Italy

Josef Koudelka: Vestiges (Projection)

Josef Koudelka
Until Dec 10

Past Exhibition
Bologna, Italy

Josef Koudelka: Industrial Landscapes Exhibition in Bologna

Josef Koudelka
Until Nov 19

Newsroom

Josef Koudelka: Gypsies

Josef Koudelka

Past Exhibition
Edinburgh, Scotland

Josef Koudelka: The Making of Landscape

Josef Koudelka
Until Aug 27

Past Exhibition
Berlin, Germany

Josef Koudelka: Invasion, Exiles, Wall

Josef Koudelka
Until Sep 10

Past Square Print Sale

Closer

Magnum Photographers
Jun 5 - 9

Newsroom

Josef Koudelka: The Black Triangle

Josef Koudelka

Newsroom

Josef Koudelka: Exiles

Josef Koudelka

Theme | 31 Stories

Classic Magnum

Past Exhibition
Paris, France

La Fabrique d’Exils

Josef Koudelka
Until May 22

Theme | 20 Stories

Magnum at 70: What’s On

Past Exhibition
London, United Kingdom

David Hurn’s Swaps

Magnum Photographers
Until May 21

Past Exhibition
Paris, France

Magnum Photos in the Paris Metro

Magnum Photographers
Until Jun 30

Theme | 9 Stories

On Photography: Magnum Photos Now

Past Exhibition
Seoul, South Korea

Josef Koudelka: Gypsies

Josef Koudelka
Until Apr 15

Past Square Print Sale

Conditions of the Heart: on Empathy and Connection in Photography

Magnum Photographers
Oct 31 - Nov 4

Arts & Culture

In Pictures: Remembering 9/11

Magnum Photographers

Theme | 8 Stories

On Photojournalism: Going Behind the Story

Past Exhibition
Eschborn, Germany

Magnum Contact Sheets

Magnum Photographers
Until Aug 19, 2016