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Saudek: Life, Love, Death & Other Such Trifles Paperback – April 1, 1992

5 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Daniela Mrázková, critic and editor of the Czech magazines Revue fotografie and Fotografie-Magazín, is the author of sixteen books on photography published in the Czech Republic and abroad, and the curator of around fifty photography exhibitions. She has been a member of international juries, and has authored film and television documentaries on photography and photographers. She has followed Jan Saudek’s work since his early years and is the author of Saudek’s first Czech monograph, The Theatre of Life. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Distributed Art Pub Inc (Dap); First Edition edition (April 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9071161137
  • ISBN-13: 978-9071161131
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 9.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,897,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a very heavy book, printed on heavy stock. For Saudek fans, this book is a must. The book has background information, and then is divided into thematic sections. Unlike previous books, the pages have the entire photograph on them. And by that, I mean the borders. When one buys a Saudek print, it poses problems for the framer, as Saudek has a lot written on the margins of the photograph, which you want to display. The pictures in this book show the notations. And since the final print is hand colored,it is interesting to see when the print was taken and when it was finished. That sometimes is years apart. And a quirk of Saudek is that he puts the finished date 100 years earlier than the actual date.

There are a lot of classic prints that have appeared before, but there also are a lot of new prints. This book is a very worthwhile addition to one's Saudek collection.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Jan Saudek, the leading art photographer from the Czech Republic, is a dazzling artist who has found his own medium of expression for his fertile imagination. This thorough, splendidly produced (Taschen) monograph, edited by the esteemed curator and critic Daniela Mrázková, succeeds at every level: these are the finest 'reproductions' of Saudek's difficult, manipulated photographs available today and the accompanying biographical information is as richly detailed and illustrated as the body of work is explored. This is a large, heavy art book, now made affordable thanks to Amazon's pricing. It deserves the attention of those who respect art on the edge as well as collectors who appreciate the position Saudek has achieved internationally in the world of fine art.

'Our life is a journey, a journey to the end of night' is a phrase from Saudek, quoted by editor/essayist Daniela Mrázková, in the opening biography of the artist, a biography that includes Saudek's birth in Prague in 1935, his internment in a Polish concentration camp for Jews, his survival and early life in Czechoslovakia, military service, multiple marriages and children, and his immigration to the United States where his reputation as an enfant terrible of photographic art grew steadily. All aspects of this interesting, diversified life are accompanied by photographs of the artist and his influences. They prepare the way very well for the generous catalogue of Saudek's unique art that follows.

For those who are new to Saudek's art, this volume will explain his techniques thoroughly.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This remarkable (and massive) collection traces at least forty years of Jan Saudek's career, from the late 1950s to the end of the 1990s, or maybe a bit beyond. Like any living, developing artist, Saudek's technique, subject matter, and style have developed too. As a result, broad generalizations apply poorly to this collection's full breadth.

The earliest work collected here tends strictly towards black and white, and the earliest chapter has a family oriention. With no clear break between phases of his career, Saudek's work in the early 1970s tended toward a more documentary style. Then, by the late 1970s, many features of his later work had emerged: studio nudes, often hand-colored, often set against a decrepit background, and with increasing sexual content. Paired photos, clothed and nude, appeared, as did time sequences. Saudek's quirky sense of humor came to the fore, also, expressed in terms of all the other features of his work. For example, the clothed/not and sexual themes came together in gender-bending sequences (like The Wedding, parts I and II) that elicit giggles along with confusion and careful attention. By the 1990s, Saudek's work added models well outside the usual range considered attractive, which added new facets to the sexuality and humor.

This huge, beautiful book makes it easy to trace Saudek's changing esthetic through his images. Readers (in English, French, and German) also see biographical information covering Saudek's life inside and outside the gallery world. A book this vast and a career so varied can't be summarized briefly except to say this: it's an outstanding presentation of a strange and wonderful collection.

-- wiredweird

PS: The cover picture is actually half of something - the other half changes its meaning completely!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you like Jan Saudek and wanted to own one of his books, this item is perfect. It is huge! At 13.5 x 11.6 and almost 450 pages, it is a real eye opener on the coffee table. And pound for pound, I would have expected to pay double or triple the price for the size and paper stock alone.

The book contains a large amount of his work. For those not familiar with Saudek's work, please look at some of the other reviews that describe his style. But let's say the book quality is not the only thing that makes it an eye opener. It is a real conversation starter with images that are beautiful, artistic, odd and sometimes pleasantly offensive.

This book is not for those who dislike nudity or the exploration of sexuality. It contains explicit material, including real and simulated sex acts; obese, pregnant, little people, underage, mature, male and female full frontal nudity. For those looking for straight beauty/models/nude/sexuality, I would recommend Roy Stuart or Guy Bourdin first. However, if you enjoy an odder or wider range of sexuality in an artistic package and unique hand colored photographic style, Saudek does not disappoint. Leafing through the pages while writing this review, reminded me at how beautiful his odd view is.
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