Tender – In love with contemporary Czech photography

Reading Time: 4 minutes

A group show of contemporary Czech photography, Tender is dedicated to work that “registers vulnerabilities of people and their environments – the bruises on the fruit”. The selected photographers include image-makers such as Tereza Zelenková, Vendula Knopová, and Hana Knížová, for example, who adopt widely varying styles but can all be seen to investigate this idea in their selected work.

Zelenková, for example, whose eerie black-and-white photography has won exhibitions at Foam and the Ravestijn Gallery in Amsterdam, as well as prizes such as the Jerwood Photoworks Award, is showing a project based on the Czech literary classic The Grandma by Božena Němcová, which tells the story of a young woman seduced by a passing soldier, who spends the rest of her days haunting the local woods.

Kaca, Vivi, Eli, from the series Mothers © Hana Knížová

Knopová, who won the photography Grand Prix at Hyeres in 2016 with a project on her family, presents an installation looking at love in a time of Tinder, and her mother’s ongoing desire to see her married. Knížová meanwhile, who has worked with brands such as Stella McCartney, brings a fashion-photographer’s eye to images of young mothers and their children. The other photographers involved the show are Radek Brousil, Daniela and Linda Dostálková, Jiří Hroník, Valentýna Janů, Jiří Thýn, Dušan Tománek, and Adam Holý – who sadly died when he was just 42 in 2016.

“Remember, ‘tender’ also means a bid and this exhibition is a part of a program established to promote the Czech Republic abroad,” write the exhibition curator Michal Nanoru. “Are you going to accept the offer?”

Tender – In Love with Contemporary Czech Photography is on show until 28 March at the Czech Center New York, 321 E 73rd Street, New York, NY 10021 https://new-york.czechcentres.cz

Orchard © Tereza Zelenková
Soldier © Tereza Zelenková
© Hana Knížová
Nora & books, from the series Mothers © Hana Knížová
© Vendula Knopová
© Vendula Knopová
© Vendula Knopová
Edges Abrasion © Linda Dostálková
The Tallest Tower © Linda Dostálková
© Adam Holý, 2004
© Adam Holý, 2005
© Adam Holý
© Dušan Tománek
© Dušan Tománek
Explosive © Jiří Hroník
Johana © Jiří Hroník
© Valentýna Janů
Diane Smyth

Diane Smyth is a freelance journalist who contributes to publications such as The Guardian, The Observer, The FT Weekend Magazine, Creative Review, The Calvert Journal, Aperture, FOAM, IMA, Aesthetica and Apollo Magazine. Prior to going freelance, she wrote and edited at BJP for 15 years. She has also curated exhibitions for institutions such as The Photographers Gallery and Lianzhou Foto Festival. You can follow her on instagram @dismy