Schwarz-Weiß-Photographie, 17 x 21,50 cm. Tic/F 000004
In the artist's first big retrospective exhibition in Austria, that brings together over one hundred objects, we present the photographic oeuvre of Miroslav Tichı. Born in the small Moravian town of Kyjov in 1926, Tichı studied painting at the Prague Art Academy (1946-48). Everything he knew about photography was self-taught and, between 1955 and 1985, he has created highly original works of a remarkable formal quality. Tichı's central motif are women whom he captured with his self-made cameras, without their knowing, in public swimming baths, in the street, in everyday situations. Put under surveillance and persecuted politically due to his dissident stance, he withdrew completely from public life and the art scene, ending up in a state of near dereliction.
Every day, with cameras and objectives assembled from cardboard tubes and cans, Tichı photographed numerous subjects - women carrying shopping bags, women on bicycles, women playing sports or in conversation, but also motifs found on television, especially Austrian television -, then processed the one single print made by tracing contours or by way of self-made and ornamented passe-partouts of various colours. The typical haziness, the marks left by the production process, scratchings and finger prints, stains and creases, resulting also from the circumstances in which the eccentric artist lived, characterise Tichı's works. His artistic impetus is an uninterrupted reflection on the primeval sculptural subject of the female nude, never indiscreet or sexist, but rather taking the spirit of an ongoing, deferential homage to woman in all her naturalness, as an unposed sculptural subject.
Since Harald Szeemann first presented Miroslav Tichı's oeuvre at the Seville Biennial, numerous international museums have dedicated solo exhibitions to the artist, most recently the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris and the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt in 2008, and not only curators have begun to take notice but also collectors.