Josef Sudek - The Odyssey of Collecting: Photographs from Joy of Giving Something Foundation, Part 1 New York Sunday, April 2, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, 1996

  • Exhibited

    Open Secrets: Seventy Pictures on Paper, 1815 to the Present, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York, 19 November- 28 December 1996; Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, 16 January- 1 March 1997

  • Literature

    Fraenkel Gallery and Matthew Marks Gallery, Open Secrets: Seventy Pictures on Paper, 1815 to the Present, pl. 62 (this print)
    Fárová/Heiting, Josef Sudek: Die Pigmentdrucke 1947-1954, pl. 15

  • Catalogue Essay

    This photograph is one of a series of studies Sudek made of Prague, the center of his life and his spiritual home. Taken in 1947, as Prague rebuilt after the devastation of World War II, this photograph of one of the courtyards in the vast Castle complex transcends the privation of the era. The low vantage point, the wet pavement, and the shimmering reflection of the portico create an evocative portrait of the Castle, the centuries-old complex that had come to symbolize the city.

    Like the best of Sudek’s photographs, The Third Courtyard of Prague Castle is a technical and aesthetic tour-de-force. The image is rendered in the subtly-modulated tones of the pigment process, of which Sudek was a master. Sudek had experimented with various pigment processes in his early years, when his photographs were more Pictorial in style. He returned to the process in the 1940s, enlisting the labor-intensive technique to serve his new and ever more lyrical vision. In the present photograph, the result is a saturated and tonally nuanced print in which the detail and texture of the subject become paramount. This marriage of Sudek’s modern approach to the nearly outmoded pigment process is distinctive of Sudek’s extraordinary work in his later career.

11

The Third Courtyard of Prague Castle

1947
Pigment print.
6 1/2 x 4 3/4 in. (16.5 x 12.1 cm)
Signed in pencil in the margin.

Estimate
$20,000 - 30,000 

Sold for $61,250

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Caroline Deck
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Vanessa Hallett
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The Odyssey of Collecting: Photographs from Joy of Giving Something Foundation, Part 1

New York 3 April 2017