Czech photographer Frantisek Drtikol (1883-1961) reinvented the genre of nude photography for the early twentieth century. Drtikol opened his Prague studio in 1907, and his nudes from this early period convey the dreamy eroticism of Art Nouveau and the foreboding accents of Prague Symbolism that he was to return to throughout his somewhat brief career (Drtikol abandoned photography for painting in 1935, and it was not until curator Anna Fárová's now legendary 1972 Prague exhibition that this work was rediscovered by a broader public). But Drtikol quickly absorbed into his photography the myriad new idioms of the interbellum years, and freighted his nudes with the dramatic lighting of silent film and the more austere geometric effects and dynamic poses of Futurism, Cubism and Bauhaus. Surveying his daring and expressive nudes of the 1920s and 1930s, this important publication charts Drtikol's adventurous treatments of the nude as they evolved in their quirky conversation with modernist innovations--from the early nymphs and femme fatales to more abstracted studies that dramatize light and kinetic qualities. This smartly conceived volume confirms Drtikol's place as one of the greatest photographers of the early twentieth century.
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