While often described as solitary and reserved, the photographer Josef Sudek was once a familiar figure to many on the streets of Prague. Born in 1896 in Kolín, a town east of the capital on the Elbe River, he made the city his home in the early 1900s. It became a central subject of his work, throughout and despite years of political upheaval, until his death in 1976. He left behind an otherworldly, serene, and singular vision of this turbulent era.
A skilled printer, devoted to the minutiae of the process, his mastery of the silver gelatin print is evident in the harmony between detail and obscurity which has become one of the most influential elements of his photography. Condensation on a window pane, mist in a deserted forest, or industrial fog in city streets serve to draw focus to the central features of an image, while creating a distinctive atmosphere and mood.