Taka Ishii Gallery is pleased to announce the debut exhibition in Japan of artist Miroslav Tichy.
Born in 1926, in the present-day Czech Republic, Tichy is an embodiment of the myth of the
artist/genius. “Discovered” by curator Harald Szeemann, who organized a presentation of Tichy’
s works at the First International Biennial of Contemporary Art of Seville (Seville, Spain,
2004), Tichy has since been the focus of museum exhibitions including the Kunsthaus Zurich
(Zurich, Switzerland, 2005) and De Hallen, Frans Hals Museum (Haarlem, the Netherlands, 2006)
with upcoming exhibitions (all 2008) including the Centre Pompidou (Paris, France), the Museum
of Modern Art Frankfurt (Frankfurt, Germany) and the Douglas Hyde Gallery (Dublin, Ireland).
As a student of painting at the Academy of Art, Prague, Tichy early came into conflict with the
Communist government and was forced to abandon his studies and spend a number of years in both
prisons and mental hospitals. Neither a criminal nor insane, Tichy’s rebellious nature was
simply ill-suited to his environment. Perhaps as a result of such oppression, Tichy subsequently
developed a highly individual approach towards art practice and life-in-general. Never again to
leave his home city of Kyjov, Tichy turned from painting proper to a form of photography.
Basing his life on an ethic of skepticism, Tichy followed an outwardly impoverished path, his
physical appearance and home a shambles, and this extended to the means whereby which he produced
his photographs. Utilizing bits of junk and scraps as well as old, discarded cameras, Tichy
incorporated the practice of photography into his daily life, following no particular plan or
rule other than to take a number of photographs within a given period of time.
A primary, though not sole, focus of Tichy’s daily observations was the female form.
Literally thousands of b x w images were created and serve as a record of Tichy’s life-long
vision. Weathered over time and maintained in decidedly non-archival conditions, the
photographs physical condition mirror their out-of-focus, hazy content. Oftentimes a trace of
drawing remains as Tichy would, without hesitation, alter images with pencil and create
make-shift frames from colored paper. Melancholy and romantic, the photographs re-present an
extremely sensual inner life of the artist.
The Taka Ishii gallery exhibition will include a series of 29 vintage prints as well as a
presentation of one of the artist’s hand-crafted cameras and will be accompanied by the
publication of a bilingual catalogue produced in cooperation with the Tichy Ocean Foundation.