Fotograf Magazine

Jan Svoboda

melancholy of modernism

Jan Svoboda (1934–1990) became a legend of Czech photography already in his lifetime. Not even fifteen years after his death, this legend has achieved a near-Faustian dimension, which gradually begins to obscure the work of its creator. Svoboda as the first among the disciples of Josef Sudek, Svoboda as the mystical worshipper of light and shadow, Svoboda as a simple, rustic man at the tender mercies of urban life, Svoboda as the only true “artist” among Czech photographers, all these and other affirmations push the artist himself into black and white contours, speaking little of the real scope and importance of his work.

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