December 11March 31, 2003.

Joel Myerowitz: After September 11: Pictures From Ground Zero A traveling exhibition of nearly 30 large-format photographs documenting the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in New York. Ends Jan. 6, 2003. U Sov0vYch mlynu 2, Prague l-Kampa Island. Open Tues.Sun. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. National Gallery at Palac Kinskyc;h-5urface Born for Decor Japanese lacquer work from Czech collections. Ends Jan. 13, 2003. Staromestske nam. 12, Prague l~Old Town. Open Tues.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6.

17, 2002

I GALLERIES I 821

The long, winding road
Koudelka's journey leads back where it began
By
PAUL WILSON FOR THE POST

p.m.

Jaroslav Benes Ends Dec. 20. 24, Prague 2Mon.-Fri. 11 Sat. and Sun. by GuttmannaThis show of paintings by ,e past few years 'lery's reopening 'st flood. Ends '3. U stare skoiy Old Town. Open 9 a.m.-6 p.m., ;l.m.

Obecni galerie beseda-Animals This group sales exhibition of more than 50 top contemporary Czech artists features paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs and graphics. The show takes place at two Mala Strana venues (see also Galerie Millennium listing). Ends Jan. 5, 2003. Malostranske nam. 21, Prague l-Mala Strana. Open Tues.-Sun. 1-6 p.m. Old Town Hall (Staromestska radnice)-Czech Press Photo This year's winning selection of press photography mainly features documents of the August floOd. Ends Jan. 5, 2603. Kffiova chodba and Rytrfsky sal of Staromestska radnice. Open daily 10 a.m.-6 p:m. Oskar Kokoschka Galerie-Keith Carter: Natural Histories The Austrian Cultural Institute con· tinues to lend its gallery space to the flood-hit Prague House of Photography. The current show features a selection of Carter's black-and-white photographs. Ends Jan. 6, 2003. Jungmannovo nam. 18, Prague 1. Open Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Prague Castle--Czech Puppetry On display are marionettes from the mid-19th century onward. Ends Feb. 23, 2003. Crsafska konrrna (Imperial Stable). Open Tues.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Siovensky institiit-Heroines Four artists from four Central European countries whose work embraces a nontraditionai, nonhistorical conception of the heroine in art. Ends Dec. 29. Purkyfiova 4, Prague l-old Town. Open Tues.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. and Sun. 1-5 p.m. Spejsovna-Jii'i Kovanda and Jakub Spanhel Ends Dec. 29. Hefmanova 15,Prague 7Holesovice. Open Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-7 p.m., Sat. and Sun. noon-3 p.m. Umeleckoprumyslove muzeum v Praze (Museum of Decorative Arts)-Danner Preis 02: Useful and Timeless This exhibition presents winning entries in the annual Danner Preis competition for contemporary ap'plied-art design in Bavaria. Ends Feb. 2, 2003. Ufice 17. listopadu 2, Prague l-oid Town. Open Tues.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Veletrini palac (National Gallery Collections of 19th-Century and Modern and Contemporary Art)Josef Koudelka A retrospective of one of the best-known Czechborn photographers. See Review, this page. A smaller show of works by Koudelka is currently at the French Institute. Ends Feb. 23, 2003. Michael Rittsteln: There In the Small Hall at Veletrini,

"My name is Josef. I don't like words but I am going to do my best to make myself clear." Wandering through this retrospective of Czech emigre photographer Josef Koudelka, one realizes that this statement by the artist is more than clear: It is stark. Such is the sense of isolation and detachment emanating from these monochrome visions. The show is organized into six major series. However, as one progresses through these chronologically arranged cycles, it becomes clear that Koudelka's work itself develops cyclically, picking up and refining elements of earlier experiments. As early as "Beginnings (1958-61)," his artistic vocabulary is well defined. These are dehumanc ized views of nature in' which physical features are treated as compositional elements - a winding road that snakes through the center of a murky field and disappears over the horizon, or smoking chimneys that apparently rise from a low ridge, disembodied from their superstructures. People rarely appear in his photographs, and are often truncated to reveal only their limbs. Faced with only actors as subjects in "Theater (1961-70)," Koudelka set_ about abstracting their features through severe contrast and graininess, or by blurring their movements. The actors are rendered as abstractlv as the desolate la~dscapes of "Beginnings." Like many artists of his generation, Koudelka found a defining moment in the Soviet-led invasion of 1968. The "Invasion" series shows a conscious decision to abandon the formalist experiments of his earlier work and convey instead the emotion and turmoil of events. Here, Koudelka is forced to confront humanity and can only do so honestly and directly. By 1970, when his series "Roma (1962-70)" came to an

COURTESY

PHOTO

The Soviet-led

invasion of 1968 moved Koudelka to drop

his formalist approach in favor of direct humanism.
-e'lld;he-was'wirtnirrginter.national recognition. Koudelka's success with this series lies in the synthesis of two major stylistic traits: the detachment of his early work, and the human interest of his "Invasion" series. Picture after picture shows his subjects standing alone, typically viewed through a doorway and often accompanied by personal objects or a symbol of their work. The artist's remove from his subjects gives the Roma (or Gypsies) a quiet dignity. Koudelka's most recent major series, "Chaos (19862000)," sees a return to the style and subject matter of "Beginnings." Again, people are mostly absent. However, all the elements of his sty Ie

Josef Koudelka
at Veletrini paIac
Ends Feb. 23, 2003. Dukelsk}ich hrdinu 47, Prague 7--Holesovice. Open Tues.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Companion exhibition at French Institute (see listing). seem to have crystallized into what may be his greatest works yet. There are new, jagged rhythms in a tumbled and shattered antique column that lies like a sliced cucumber. The winding road appears again, but now with a swagger and vigor that suggests Koudelka may be producing his best work at this very moment.

Dresden, Germany. Ends Feb. 23, 2003. Dukelskych hrdinu 47, Prague 7-Holesovice. Open TueS.-Sun. 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Brno. Open Tues.- Fri. noon-6 p.m., Sun. 1-5 p.m.

fIII_..... .

Rittstein is presenting a g,oup ,
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7

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