Miroslav Tichý

Netcice , Czech Republic
1926 – 2011

Miroslav Tichý was born in 1926 in Kyjov, Moravia, Czech Republic, where he died in 2011. After studying at the Academy of Arts in Prague (1945–1948), Tichý withdrew to a life in isolation in his hometown of Kyjov.

In the late 1950s he quit painting and became a distinctive Diogenes-like figure. From the end of the 1960s he began to take photographs mainly of local women, in part with cameras he made by hand. He later mounted them on hand-made frames, added finishing touches in pencil, and thus moved them from photography in the direction of drawing. The result is works of strikingly unusual formal qualities, which disregard the rules of conventional photography.

Selected solo exhibitions include Dominik Art Projects, Krakow (2009); Centre George Pompidou, Paris (2008); Kunsthaus Bregenz, Bregenz (2008); Museum of Modern Art Frankfurt (2008); Central European House of Photography, Bratislava (2007); Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem (2006) and Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich (2005). Group exhibitions include Biennale of Sydney (2008); The National Gallery, Prague (2008); Magasin 3 Konsthall Stockholm (2008); Centre George Pompidou, Paris (2007); Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Wörlen, Passau (2006) and Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporaneo de Seville (2004).

Tichý’s work is included in the collections of Centre George Pompidou, Paris; Kantonales Museum des Kantons Thurgau, Thurgau; La maison rouge, Fondation Antoine de Galbert, Paris; Museum of Fine Arts Houston; Museum of Modern Art, Frankfurt; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

Photo: Roman Buxbaum.