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Czech, 20th century.
Born 1925, Kyjov, Czech Republic.

Miroslav Tichý, (1925 – 2011) was born in the town of Kyjov in Moravia in the Czech Republic and studied drawing and painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. He had a short-lived career in the late ’40s as an avant-garde painter, but following the Communist takeover in 1948, he returned to Kyjov, where he continued to draw and paint. In the 1960s, Tichy started to neglect his appearance and became increasingly eccentric, a harmless but disturbing figure in an artistically frayed coat held together with wire. He was frequently arrested or institutionalized during these years, and in 1972 the state took away his studio.

Around this time, Tichý began to build cameras from found pieces of optical instruments, lenses from old eyeglasses, Plexiglas scraps polished with toothpaste and ashes, taped and glued cardboard, cans, wooden boxes, bottle tops and rubber bands. With them, he would surreptitiously photograph the women of Kyjov on their daily rounds. He would then use a homemade enlarger to make prints, which he often enhanced with faint pencil marks and set in hand-cut and decorated mounts.



Blurred, light-shot, scuffed, torn, and spattered with bromide stains, these stolen images, made during the ’70s and the ’80s, show women of all ages sunbathing, swimming, and shopping, walking in groups, huddled in conversation, or alone, smoking, sitting, or thinking. Sometimes they are seen from a distance; at other times Tichý zooms in—with a homemade telephoto lens—on a pair of shapely calves, or a matronly backside

While Tichý’s photographs have an undeniable sexual charge, they also resemble surveillance photographs. In fact, as curator Brian Wallis has pointed out, Tichý’s vast archive of images is contemporaneous with that compiled by the Czech secret police. In Tichý’s work, it appears, the voiding of distinctions is complete; watcher and watched, political resistance and erotic fervor are fused in an unclassifiable whole.


Selected Solo Exhibitions
2017, Known/Unknown: Private Obsession and Hidden Desire in Outsider Art, Museum of Sex, New York
2015, System and Vision, David Zwirner Gallery, New York
2013, City of Women, Zephyr, Mannheim, Germany
2013, Homage to Miroslav Tichý, Prague Biennale, Prague, Czech Republic
2012, L’Homme à la Mauvaise Caméra, Pascal Polar Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
2012, The Artist with the Bad Camera, Moscow House of Photography, Moscow, Russia
2011, Miroslav Tichỷ, Retrospettiva, SI Fest, Savignano sul Rubicone, Italy
2011, Miroslav Tichỷ, Braunschweig University of Art, Braunschweig, Germany
2011, Miroslav Tichỷ, Wilkinson Gallery, London, UK
2011, Les formes du vrai / Forms of Truth, City Gallery Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
2010, Miroslav Tichý,  ICP, International Center of Photography, New York, USA
2009, Miroslav Tichý, Jiri Svestka Berlin, Berlin, Germany
2009, Miroslav Tichý,  Galerie Elisbeth & Klaus Thoman, Innsbruck, Austria
2009, Style Options, Dominik Art Projects, Krakow, Poland
2009, Miroslav Tichý,  Kewenig Galerie, Cologne, Germany
2009, Prayers, Dreams and Goddesses,  Galería Jule Kewenig, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
2008, Miroslav Tichý,  Douglas Hyde Gallery, Dublin, Ireland
2008, Miroslav Tichý,  Galerie Susanne Zander, Cologne, Germany
2008, Miroslav Tichý,  Centre Pompidou, Musée National d´Art Moderne, Paris, France
2008, Miroslav Tichý,  Museum für Moderne Kunst (MMK), Frankfurt/Main, Germany
2008, Miroslav Tichý,  Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York (NY), USA
2007, Miroslav Tichý,  Taka Ishii Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
2007, Miroslav Tichý,  Galerie Susanne Zander, Cologne, Germany
2006, Miroslav Tichý,  Presentation House Gallery (PHG), Vancouver, Canada
2006, Miroslav Tichý,  The Brno House of Art - Central Building, Brno, Czech Republic
2006, Miroslav Tichý,  De Hallen, Haarlem, Netherlands
2005, Miroslav Tichý,  Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium
2005, Miroslav Tichý,  Kunsthaus Zürich, Zurich, Switzerland
2005, Unique Photographs, David Nolan Gallery, New York, USA

Selected Group Exhibitions
2011, The Tireless Epic, Fieret - Tichý – Heyboer,  The Hague Museum of Photography, Den Haag, Netherlands 
2010, Inaugural Exhibition,  Christophe Guye Galerie, Zurich, Switzerland
2010, Ion Barladeanu & Miroslav Tichý,  Galerie Anne de Villepoix, Paris, France
2009, Contemporary Czech and International Gallery Artists,  Jiri Svestka Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
2009, Sauvagerie domestique, Galerie Edouard-Manet, Genevilliers, France2009, Outsider, Galerie Klaus Gerrit Friese, Stuttgart, Germany
2009, Archivo, MKGalerie, Berlin, Germany
2009, Archivo, MKGalerie, Rotterdam, Netherlands
2009, Künstler der Galerie,  Galerie Susanne Zander, Cologne, Germany
2009, This Is Not a Fashion Photograph: Selections from the ICP Collection,  International Center of Photography, New York, USA
2008, Financial crisis ...from our stock,  Jiri Svestka Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
2008, 16th Biennale of Sydney, Biennale of Sydney, Sydney, New Zealand
2008, International Triennale of Contemporary Art - Re-Reading the Future, International Triennale of Contemporary Art (ITCA), Prague, Czech Republic
2008, Miroslav Tichý & Julia Margaret Cameron, Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden
2008, L'amour Fou, Marvelli Gallery, New York, USA
2007, Again: serial practices in contemporary art, The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, USA
2007, Blue Chips, Galerie Philipp Konzett, Vienna, Austria
2007, Like Leaves,  Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, USA
2007,  Ketzer & Co. Die Goldene Stadt, Jiri Svestka Prague, Prague, Czech Republic
2006, Artists for Tichý - Tichý for Artists, MMK Museum Moderner Kunst - Stiftung Wörlen, Passau, Germany
2006, 25 years Zeno X, Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium
2006, Soleil Noir, Salzburger Kunstverein, Salzburg, Austria
2004, 1 Bienal Internacionál de Arte Contemporaneo de Sevilla, BIACS, Fundación Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain

Public Collections
Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’Art Moderne, Paris, France
Galerie Klatovy/Klenová, Czech Republic
Haus der Photographie Deichtorhallen (F.C. Gundlach Collection), Hamburg, Germany
Kantonales Museum des Kantons Thurgau, Switzerland
La maison rouge, Fondation Antoine de Galbert, Paris, France
Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA
Museum of Modern Art (MMK), Frankfurt, Germany
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, USA
Victoria and Albert Museum, London, Great Britain

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