The work of Josef Sudek is mainly linked with Prague, but the photographer also devoted much time and energy to other locations in Bohemnia and Moravia. He was fascinated by the brown coalfield in north-west Bohemia. Following the famous panoramic Prague (1959), he worked there in 1957 – 1962 on a second, unfortunately unpublished, book of panoramic photographs. The collection from the most region is at the opposite end of the spectrum from the photographer´s renowned romanticism, formally, the panoramas are united by the dispersal of daylight under a depressing grey sky. While Sudek frequently depicted the landscape in a quiet dialogue between the heavens and the earth, this time it was rather an image of the silence of anaesthetised nature under a sky mute with amazement. The cntact prints are also finished in a similar manner. Their plain, monotonous, grey surface has infinitely subtle shades and portrays reality down to the finest detail. This collection is now exhibited in Prague for the first time.
At the time the work was made. It was impossible to speak openly about the devastated landscape of the most region. The title was taken from a contemporary interview with Sudek: It´s a rather sad landscape. I don´t like to work on happy landscapes, because happy is always happy and always the same. But sad has a lot of variations. More sad and less sad and even more sad, one can do something with that.“-drs-
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