Czechoslovakia, 1967 (Angel on Bicycle)

1967
Josef Koudelka (Czechoslovakian, born in 1938)


Dimensions

Image: 22.9 x 35.6 cm (9 x 14 in.) Sheet: 30.2 x 40.6 cm (11 7/8 x 16 in.)

Accession Number

1982.160

Medium or Technique

Photograph, gelatin silver print

Not On View

Collections

Contemporary Art, Europe, Photography

Classifications

Photographs

During the early 1960s, Josef Koudelka began an extended documentary project focusing on the lives of gypsies, at first in his native Czechoslovakia and later in Romania, Ireland, Spain, and Portugal. His grainy, unsentimental black-and-white images typically portray his subjects in the context of their families and their religious faith. Koudelka sympathized with the disenfranchised state of these “outsiders” and often photographed them arrayed within shallow, stagelike spaces, as in this enigmatic image. The odd juxtaposition of an old woman, a horse-drawn cart, and a beautiful youth (presumably costumed for a church pageant) is characteristic of Koudelka’s pictures, which ask more questions than they answer.

Inscription

Sheet all signed in ink, lower right margin: "Josef Koudelka".

Provenance

The Atelier Group, LTD., New York; purchased February 1982.

Credit Line

Polaroid Foundation Purchase Fund

Copyright

© 2010 Josef Koudelka