Miroslav Tichý.
Photographs by Miroslav Tichy.
Steidl/ICP, 2010. 328 pp., 364 illustrations, 8½x12¾".

Selected as one of the Best Books of 2010 by:


Publisher's Description
Few stories in the history of photography are as astonishing and compelling as that of the octogenarian Czech photographer Miroslav Tichý. With crude homemade cameras fashioned out of cardboard and duct tape, Tichý took several thousand pictures of the women of his Moravian hometown of Kyjov throughout the 1960s and ’70s. These pictures of women going about their daily business are at once banal and extraordinary, transforming the ordinary moments of work and leisure into small epiphanies. Blurred and off-kilter, his photographs have a striking contemporaneity, resembling the early paintings of Gerhard Richter or the photographs of Sigmar Polke. Printed imperfectly and deliberately battered, they evince a surprisingly retrograde or even antimodernist feeling, which, in the context of the Cold War atmosphere of provincial Czechoslovakia, just before and after the liberalizing moment of the Prague Spring (1968), undoubtedly constituted a kind of oblique political provocation, a nose-thumbing response to the progressive realist perfectionism of official Soviet culture.


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