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Jan Saudek Art for Sale at Auction

Photographer, b. 1935 -

Czech artist, Jan Saudek, is widely recognized for his impactful and often provocative photography, often featuring nudes. Saudek’s family history, marked by tragic loss in Nazi concentration camps during World War II, informs the emotional undertones of his work. Many consider him to be one of the most important Czech photographers.

About Jan Saudek

  • Artist: Jan Saudek

  • Alias: Jan Saudek

  • Profession: Photographer

  • Nationality: Czech

Jan Saudek, a renowned Czech artist, has created a diverse body of work over decades, encompassing various themes and subjects. One of his most notable series is Story Of Czechoslovakia, My Country, which spans years of his career and offers a rich exploration of Czech culture, history, and identity.

Saudek was born in Prague to a Jewish father four years before the 1939 Nazi invasion of what was then Czechoslovakia. The Nazis separated Saudek and his twin brother, Karel, from their family, and only the brothers and Saudek’s father Gustav survived their time in Nazi concentration camps. Saudek’s experience during the Holocaust - and the trauma he has lived with since - informs much of his work. In his photographs, nudity often represents innocence, and the ominous settings in which Saudek places nudity signify the loss of this innocence.

During Saudek’s adulthood, the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia ruled the nation. They banned eroticism and nudity in art, so Saudek largely created his art in secrecy. In 1977, he began incorporating hand-painting and color tints into his photography. Over the course of the 1970s, his work caught the attention of Western viewers and led to his international reputation as one of the all-time most important Czech photographers.

Related Styles and Movements

  • Photography

Highlights and Achievements

  • Institutions that have displayed Saudek’s work include the Art Institute of Chicago, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Getty Center, and Centre Pompidou.

Read Full Artist Biography

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