• Jaromír Funke, Untitled (Bridge in Kolín), 1922, gelatin silver print, 8 11/16 x 8 1/16".

    “Jaromír Funke and the Amateur Avant-Garde”

    National Gallery of Art
    Sixth Street and Constitution Avenue, NW
    May 3–August 9, 2009

    Curated by Matthew S. Witkovsky

    A leading member of the Czech avant-garde in the 1920s and ’30s, cofounder of the Czech Photographic Society, and an influential teacher, Jaromír Funke (1896–1945) produced abstract still lifes and images of modern and classical architecture whose provocative play of shadows and forms invites comparisons to the work of Atget, Man Ray, Morandi, and Sheeler. Rather than highlighting these affinities, however, the first extensive show of Funke’s photographs outside Europe displays his lyric imagery alongside that of twenty-two of his compatriots, including Josef Sudek and Eugen Wiškovský. Some seventy works will contextualize this lesser known movement of self-taught photographers within the interwar explosion of avant-garde art.