Mark your calendars and plan your visit to the Ernst Leitz Museum for an upcoming solo exhibit by Josef Koudelka featuring some of his most personal works.
Looking for the next photography exhibit to inspire you and expand your creative storytelling? The upcoming solo exhibition of influential street photographer Josef Koudelka is definitely not to be missed. Titled “Exiles and Panoramas,” it’s set for March 6 – August 23, 2020, at the Ernst Leitz Museum in Wetzlar, Germany. Whether you’re an ardent fan of Koudelka’s work or are looking for something to squeeze into your German adventures, this is a great opportunity to view some of his most personal and celebrated works.
Central to the exhibition is “Exiles,” one of the Magnum photographer’s most personal and haunting series. It explores his experiences and perspectives coming from many years of living a nomadic lifestyle beginning in May 1970 when he left the Czech Republic and following his arrival in England. Many of the black and white photos he took during this time are marked by strong graphic contrasts, a focus on shapes and surfaces, and a compassionate distance. The photos are a reflection of the decades Koudelka spent portraying humans in through expressive imagery and emotive concepts. With the publication of “Exiles” in 1988 came the closure of the nomadic phase of Koudelka’s life, and the book came to represent his coming to terms with the past.
Set alongside “Exiles” is Koudelka’s personal picks of panoramas taken in the mid-1980s. While he initially dedicated his previous work to 35mm photography, a panoramic camera allowed him to explore and capture the world in a different way. Featuring the vast coastlines and landscapes of Europe and the Middle East, these panoramas speak of Koudelka’s search for traces of the past in locations that have gone through sometimes devastating changes.
Koudelka’s photography journey began with reportages and assignments for a theater magazine while he was training as an aeronautical engineer in the 1960s. He eventually left his engineering career and focused on photography full-time. He took his best-known photos during the Prague Spring Suppression in August 1968, documenting street battles between citizens and Warsaw Troop invaders. The negatives were smuggled out of the country a year later, and the photos were distributed by Magnum Photo Agency on the anniversary of the invasion under the author “P.P.” It was eventually published and acknowledged across the globe as the “Photograph Prague” collection, the identity of its author kept under wraps until Koudelka relocated to London in 1970, then in Paris in 1980 for his safety.
A total of 68 masterpieces will be showcased in the exhibit, which promises to serve both as a gateway to Koudelka’s profound photography and a fine blend of humanity, contemporary history, and timelessness.
Check out this website to find out more about the “Exiles and Panoramas” exhibit.