This exhibition presents life in Czechoslovakia during the communist regime in the humanist photography of Dagmar Hochová.
The first UK exhibition of the work of leading Czech photographer Dagmar Hochová (1926 – 2012) known for her humanist and documentary approach. Hochová’s powerful black and white images of ordinary people from 1960s to 1980s are complemented by unique images documenting the crucial events of recent Czech history, including the 1968 Prague Spring and the 1989 Velvet Revolution, building a complex picture of life in Czechoslovakia under communism while presenting everyday reality as something unusual and extraordinary. Full of energy and humour and with engaged and critical attitude towards society, Hochová’s photographs surpass the work of her contemporaries and provide a strong testimony to the era and its people.
The exhibition is curated by Jiří Pátek. Organised by the Czech Centre London in collaboration with the Moravian Gallery in Brno.
Dagmar Hochová (1926 – 2012) studied photography in Prague under avant-garde photographer Jaromír Funke and then worked as a freelance photographer for various Czech newspapers and magazines. During the communist regime in Czechoslovakia, she was primarily known as a photographer of children. However, her work went far beyond this subject, capturing people on the edge of society, the elderly, war veterans, rejected artists and intellectuals, all those who didn´t conform with the public image of a developed and trouble-free socialist society. The photo series such as St Matthew’s Fair, Children, Pairs, Holidays and Celebrations, on which she worked from the 1950s onwards, became famous when they were published after the 1989 Velvet Revolution. In 2000, she was awarded the Medal of Merit for outstanding contribution to the arts.
Her work is represented in the collections of the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague; the Moravian Gallery in Brno; Museum Folkwang, Essen; the National Gallery Prague; Galerie Municipale du Chateau d’Eau, Tolouse.