Kyjov 1926 - 2011
Unique gelatin silver print, 1960 - 80
Miroslav Tichy conducted an intense and unique and conscious artistic research in full isolation.
His oeuvre was later discovered in the eighties by Roman Buxbaum and presented to the vast
public of the art system by Harald Szeemann in 2004.
After completing his art studies at the Prague Academy for Fine Arts in 1944, Tichy dedicated himself to the
avant-garde painting for years. He was also sentenced to jail and admitted in psychiatric hospitals under the repressive
communist regime. In the late 50s Miroslav Tichy abandoned painting and devoted himself to artistic research, exploring the use of
photography with constant perseverance, through a personal investigation free from any academic convention and supported by a strong existentialist thought.
He subsequently settled down in a humble abode in Kyjov, living in poverty on the margins of society.
He then started building himself rudimentary cameras using waste materials (such as ash polished lenses made out of perspex, cans, cardboard tubes, bottle caps, cords and many other things). Once equipped with these incredible machines and with a conscious freedom of thought, he began wandering the streets of Kyjov, capturing live images of genuine daily reality and focusing on women as subjects; images never altered by pretentious and ephemeral linguistic superstructure and sometimes even on the verge of abstraction.
He then printed these photographs (imperfect and dirty because of the limiting means used) at night time in his garden and in an old bathtub. Some of these prints were pasted on improvised passe-partouts and then abandoned and scattered around the house with many others, subject to the additional sedimentation of daily life and always on hand to Tichy who liked and needed to go through them over and over again.
For almost four decades, every day, Miroslav Tichy photographed and printed and sedimented, living life and art, creating works that aesthetically have left an indelible mark in art history.
These little miracles were discovered in the eighties by Roman Buxbaum who immediately understood the extraordinary uniqueness and importance of these works and subsequently saved and collected them. Later on in 2004, Harald Szeemann brought them to the attention of the vast public of the art world exposing them during the Seville Biennal of Contemporary Art.
Solo shows of Miroslav Tichy were then organized at the Kunsthaus in Zurich (2005), at the Centre Pompidou in Paris (2008) and in 2010 the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York, ranked Miroslav Tichy as one of the most important artists of the twentieth century.
Since 1992 many of the most important international artists have been collecting photographs of Miroslav Tichy, in exchange for their works. The extraordinary collection of these works of contemporary art is today in the Collection of the Foundation Tichy Ocean. It has been published in a book titled "Artists for Tichy – Tichy for Artists" on occasion of the exhibition at GASK – Gallery of the Central Bohemian Region, Kutna Hora, in 2013.
Galleria Six in cooperation with Tichy Ocean Foundation 16 January . 30 March 2016