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Stanislav Tůma (1950 - 2005)

`IN THE SHADE'

Exhibition spaces of the Old Town Hall, Prague

Exhibition runs from Thursday 20th May to Sunday 6th June 2010
Opening at 6pm on Wednesday 19th May 2010

Old Town Hall Staroměstské náměstí 1 110 00 Prague 1
Open daily except Mondays 10am - 6pm

The exhibition `In the Shade' features a representative selection of work by the Czech photographer Stanislav Tůma.

Stanislav Tůma is best known as a photographer inspired by the poetic setting of Prague's Malá Strana and Hradčany districts, which in urbanistic terms embody the subtle complexities of cultural history and human memory. Winding streets, tucked-away courtyards, arcades, gateway passages, crumbling walls and the almost surreal language of unexpected architectural details become active partners in an implicit dialogue about the passing of time. It is a dialogue about man who, like a shadow, moves across the specific surroundings of his life - both within the cycle of a brief day and long years. Here, the classical `building blocks' of black-and-white photography - light, shade, outline, volume and surface - create a visual testimony evoking in the viewer an awareness of the ever-changing and transient nature of human fate. Even where the legible human figure is absent, we can sense in Tůma's photographs a lyrical and occasionally also humorously ironic statement about the layers of human stories embodied in the historical context of his beloved Prague quarters.

As well as series of photographs portraying Tůma's characteristic `human landscape', this exhibition includes less well-known works showing other thematic dimensions. Tůma's interiors and nudes are characterised by a similar feeling for the intimate space of human reflections. They also demonstrate his exceptional ability to conceive objective reality as a metaphorical still life.

This exhibition is being held to recall the life's work of Stanislav Tůma, a major figure of modern Czech photography, in the year he would have celebrated his sixtieth birthday. It also marks the fifth anniversary of his death. The exhibition's title not only emphasises the symbolic role played by the shadow in his photographic language, but also points to the fact that Tůma's unique expression has still not been fully acknowledged in his native land.

Stanislav Tuma Artist Page
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www.stanislav-tuma.com