From the Archives: Jan Svoboda

Enigmatic Czech artist Jan Svoboda (1934–1990) sought to redefine the language of photography – creating highly subjective work which defied the boundaries of modernist image-making.

Svoboda distanced himself from the moniker of ‘photographer,’ preferring to think of himself as a visual artist. His distinctive work spans still life and portraiture, often embodying a self-reflective, philosophical approach. His means of exhibiting often included presenting works without distracting frames, bringing attention to what he called the ‘photograph-object’.

The archive is fortunate to hold a diverse collection of Svoboda’s work, including prints, contact sheets and glass plate negatives.

Untitled (Tree Branch with Flowers), glass plate negative
Ctvrtina Stolu (Quarter of the Table), glass plate negative
Untitled (Studio with Photographs), contact sheet
Svoboda's Bedroom, c. 1980

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