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Czechoslovakia, 1967 (Angel on Bicycle)
Josef Koudelka (Czechoslovakian, born in 1938)
Image: 22.9 x 35.6 cm (9 x 14 in.) Sheet: 30.2 x 40.6 cm (11 7/8 x 16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Photograph, gelatin silver print
Not On View
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.
Sheet all signed in ink, lower right margin: "Josef Koudelka".
The Atelier Group, LTD., New York; purchased February 1982.
Polaroid Foundation Purchase Fund
© 2010 Josef Koudelka