Artists > Sudek, Josef
Josef Sudek was a Czech photographer, best known for his haunting night-scapes of Prague. Trained as a bookbinder, Sudek was a keen amateur photographer before being called into military service in the First World War in 1915. His years of war service ended when he was wounded during an attack, resulting in the loss of his right arm. After the war, Sudek studied photography for two years in Prague under his close friend Jaromir Funke. Along with other leading young photographers, Sudek soon rejected the traditional—"painterly"—approach and embraced the modernist views. For this, he and Funke were dismissed from Photoclub Prague. In response, they rallied photographers who shared their modernist views, and in 1924, formed the "Avant-Garde Czech Photographic Society," which focused on the negative. Sudek's pictures often play on the lower tones of the photographic scale, full of mystery and darkness. Although many photographic critics often dismissed his small, unorthodox and intensely personal pictures, Sudek is now recognized as one of the masters of twentieth-century photography.