RETROSPECTIVE OF CZECH PHOTOGRAPHER, VÁCLAV CHOCHOLA
CHOCHOLA, Václav. Kabinety Vzpominek [Collection of Memories]. (Prague): Arcadia, (1993). Quarto, original black photographic paper-covered boards, original dust jacket. $150.
First edition of this superb representation of Czech documentary photography by Václav Chochola, with hundreds of images, including his famous portraits of Salvador Dali.
Václav Chochola, one of the most respected documentary photographers in Czechoslovakia, is perhaps best known for his image of Salvador Dali holding an egg to his eye (page 118). He also gained fame for spending a month in jail in 1968 for his picture of the funeral of student Jan Palach, who committed suicide in protest of the Soviet invasion (page 186). “Chochola’s hey-day lasted from the 40s throughout the 1970s. He photographed many in the cultural limelight of the 60s, including famous Czech actors and actresses such as the beautiful film star Jana Brejchova. But, Chochola was not limited to just celebrities, or for that matter any single genre: his work includes scenes from the war and the Prague Uprising, and Prague streets with a life of their own” (Jan Velinger). In 1960, he produced several classical studio nudes, emphasizing the models’ natural beauty, without the refinements of darkroom techniques. But in that same year, he and the artist Jirí Kolár used these very photographs in an experimental series of “rollages” and “prollages”— works made by slicing pictures into narrow strips and re-assembling them (page 60). Text in Czech, English, German and French.
Interior fine, with only light rubbing to spine ends of binding and dust jacket. A near-fine copy.