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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

Josef Koudelka: The 1968 Prague Invasion

Josef Koudelka

On the 50th anniversary of the Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia, Josef Koudelka recalls the night the Prague Spring ended and his journey toward becoming a Magnum photojournalist began

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
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Lime

Josef Koudelka
RARE & UNSIGNED
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Most Recent

Newsroom

Koudelka’s Beirut: The Vision of What Cannot Be Seen

Josef Koudelka

Current Exhibition
Beirut,

Josef Koudelka: The Wall/Beirut

Until Dec 22

Newsroom

Josef Koudelka: The 1968 Prague Invasion

Josef Koudelka

Theme | 6 Stories

On Photobooks

Current Exhibition
Jumièges, France

Josef Koudelka: Vestiges

Josef Koudelka
Until Nov 13

Past Exhibition
Brussels, Belgium

Koudelka’s “Invasion 68 Prague” Opens in Brussels

Josef Koudelka
Until Aug 12

Past Exhibition
Gdansk, Poland

Koudelka’s ‘Invasion 68 Prague’ Opens in Poland

Josef Koudelka
Until May 27

Past Exhibition
London, United Kingdom

Magnum Photos at Photo London 2018

Magnum Photographers
Until May 20

Past Exhibition
, Cyprus

Meditations: Touring Exhibition in Cyprus

Magnum Photographers
Until Aug 29

Current Exhibition
Prague, Czech Republic

Koudelka Returning

Josef Koudelka
Until Sep 23

Newsroom

The Big Picture: 2017 in Review

Magnum Photographers

Theme | 20 Stories

Photobooks of 2017

Theme | 19 Stories

Expert Photographic Advice from Magnum

Arts & Culture

Desolate Beauty: Josef Koudelka’s Industrial Landscapes

Josef Koudelka

Past Exhibition
Lucca, Italy

Josef Koudelka: Vestiges (Projection)

Josef Koudelka
Until Dec 10, 2017

Past Exhibition
Bologna, Italy

Josef Koudelka: Industrial Landscapes Exhibition in Bologna

Josef Koudelka
Until Nov 19, 2017

Newsroom

Josef Koudelka: Gypsies

Josef Koudelka

Past Exhibition
Edinburgh, Scotland

Josef Koudelka: The Making of Landscape

Josef Koudelka
Until Aug 27, 2017

Past Exhibition
Berlin, Germany

Josef Koudelka: Invasion, Exiles, Wall

Josef Koudelka
Until Sep 10, 2017

Past Square Print Sale

Closer

Magnum Photographers
Jun 5 - 9