Miroslav Tichy

12 Jun 2008 – 31 Jul 2008

Michael Hoppen Gallery

London, United Kingdom


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  • Sloane Square / South Kensington

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For thirty years, Miroslav Tichy took up to one hundred photographs each day pursuing his artistic obsession of the female form. Dressed in rags and using a homemade camera, Tichy captured the universe of people in the small town of Brno in the Czech Republic. He is truly one of the great ‘finds' of an unknown artist who worked for years in complete isolation on the periphery of the art world. Since the Michael Hoppen Gallery first exhibited work by Miroslav Tichy in 2006 he has become a key reference in the worlds of photography and contemporary art. Timeless and uncatagorisable we are delighted to announce our second exhibition of unique work by Tichy to coincide with an exhibition of his work at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Tichy left the Academy of Arts in Prague following the communist overthrow of 1948. Unwilling to subordinate to the political system he spent some eight years in prison and psychiatric wards for no reason other than he was ‘different' and considered subversive. Upon his release he became an outsider, occupying his time by obsessively taking photographs of the women of Brno, using homemade cameras constructed from tin cans, children's spectacle lenses, rubber bands, scotch tape and other junk found on the streets. He captured images of their ankles, faces and torsos whilst out strolling or sunbathing, behind the counter shop-girls, mothers pushing prams, and any others who caught his eye, sometimes finding himself in trouble with the police. Each of Tichy's photographs is unique - he would sometimes add frames decorated with watercolour inks or embellish the photographs with pencil lines. Many prints are veiled in stains after years of being discarded in Tichy's dilapidated house. These small objects of obsession, which might appear to the casual viewer to be simply voyeurism, are simultaneously melancholy and poetic. Tichy's work surfaced in July 2005, when he won the ‘New Discovery Award' at Arles and within a year he held two solo museum exhibitions, at the Wintertaur in Zurich and the Rudolfinum, Prague. His work is now held in collections at Centre Pompidou Paris, Victoria and Albert Museum London, Museum of Modern Art MMK Frankfurt, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, amongst others and his work has been exhibited in USA, Canada, Australia, China, Japan and across Europe.

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