ISBN: 978-80-7215-359-6|Published: 2009|Pages: 136
Binding: Softbound|Format: 160 x 180 mm|Graphic design: Pavel Lev, Studio Najbrt
A native of Prague, Jan Reich (b. 1942) is carrying on the photographic tradition linked, in the Czech milieu, particularly with the name Josef Sudek. At first Reich devoted himself to the still life, the portrait, and documentary photography, including a series of portraits of circus performers and a series from the streets of Paris. Beginning in the 1970s he tended to concentrate on rural and urban landscapes. He is fascinated by the vanishing world of the Prague outskirts and village traditions. For many years he has been documenting the rocky land around Sedlčany, the town that has become his second home. He works with old large-format cameras (particularly the one given to him by Sudek), using traditional landscape photographic techniques. Returning frequently to his favorite places, he patiently waits for the perfect light. Reich’s photographs are less lyrical than Sudek’s, and he tends to search for what is hidden in the landscape, places of human settlement and encounters. His most recent set of photos, Bohemia, which won the important Magnesia litera prize, similarly charts out important historical architecture. His photographs have become a welcome contribution in the debate about the future of the Czech countryside in times of rapid economic development and the building boom.