Gypsies is without a doubt one of the most important works of photography of the 20th century.
Last Thursday, Fondazione FORMA per la fotografia opened the much-anticipated “Gypsies by Josef Koudelka”, a world premier exhibition of the work of Josef Koudelka based on his seminal 20th century monograph, Gypsies, the artist’s 9-year photographic survey of the gypsy communities of Eastern Europe. The exhibition revisits the artist’s original intention for the work, based on the original sequencing and maquette prepared in 1968 by Koudelka and graphic designer Milan Kopriva. Koudelka intended to publish the work in Prague, but was forced to flee Czechoslovakia, landing eventually in Paris and leaving the book long unpublished. In 1975, Robert Delpire, Aperture, and Koudelka collaborated to publish Gitans, la fin du voyage (Gypsies, in the English-language edition), a selection of sixty photographs taken in various Roma settlements around East Slovakia. Robert Delpire is currently the subject of a multi-venue career retrospective exhibition in New York City.
FORMA‘s exhibition of this work calls upon Aperture’s expanded edition, featuring 109 photographs of Roma society taken between 1962 and 1971. Printed under close supervision of the artist, expressly for Forma, the images on view recount the everyday life of gypsy communities in the sixties in Bohemia, Moravia, Slovakia, Romania, Hungary, and occasionally France and Spain.
This exhibit is presented in collaboration with Magnum Photos.
Gypsies by Josef Koudelka
On view through September 16, 2012
Fondazione Forma per la Fotografia