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Aperture & Magnum Foundation : Melissa Harris : Josef Koudelka : Next


This is one of the key books of this fall: the biography of Joseph Koudelka by Melissa Harris at Aperture with the Magnum Foundation.

Aperture announces the release of Josef Koudelka: Next, the first biography dedicated to the life and work of one of the most significant photographers of the twentieth century. Copublished by Aperture and Magnum Foundation, this revelatory portrait offers an unprecedented glimpse into the mind of this notoriously private photographer.

Born in 1938, the year of the German occupation of his native Czechoslovakia, Josef Koudelka has lived through seminal events in the twentieth century. He grew up under communism, experienced the Prague Spring, saw the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of the Czech Republic, and ultimately the Russian invasion that persists in Ukraine. In this expansive narration of Koudelka’s life and work, author Melissa Harris considers his sixty-year-long obsession with the medium, from his early interpretation of Czech theater to his long-range project on the Roma culture in Eastern Europe; from his legendary coverage of the 1968 Soviet invasion of Prague to the solitude of exile and the often-devastating impact humans have had on the landscape. Josef Koudelka: Next embraces all of Koudelka’s projects and shows his artistic evolution in the context of his life story and working process.

Over the course of almost a decade, Harris has conducted hundreds of hours of interviews with the artist at his home and studio spaces in Prague and Ivry-sur-Seine, outside of Paris, and led ongoing conversations with his friends, family, colleagues, and collaborators worldwide. This deftly told, richly illustrated biography shares stories on Koudelka’s early years as a touring musician and engineering student, his ritualistic repeated visits to favored places and festivals, and his thoughts around adapting to the panoramic format used in his later work. Anecdotes offer new insight into some of his most renowned images, such as accounts of smuggling Koudelka’s film out of the Prague Spring conflict zone, or of a London friend facilitating a membership card to the Gypsy and Travellers’ Council, an organization that advocated for the rights of the Roma, to help Koudelka ease frequent suspicions by police during his limitless itineraries. Memories recast from Koudelka’s yearly leather-bound diaries share intimate accounts, including his impressions of Picasso and his colleague and mentor Henri Cartier-Bresson, and his interactions with the storied Magnum Photos collective.

Josef Koudelka: Next features a wealth of photographs, including rarely seen pictures of Koudelka that have been drawn from his archive and personal journals, along with some of the most prominent images from his work from the 1950s to the present. The visual presentation is conceived in partnership with Koudelka as well as with his longtime collaborator, Czech designer Aleš Najbrt.

Josef Koudelka: Next is published by Aperture and Magnum Foundation and is available at


Josef Koudelka: Next
A Visual Biography by Melissa Harris
Aperture & Magnum Foundation
Format : Broché
Nombre de pages : 344
Nombre d’images : 282
Date de publication : 2023-10-17
Dimensions : 7,25 x 9,5 pouces
ISBN : 9781597114653
50,00 $ US / 65,00 $ CAN / 40,00 £ au Royaume-Uni

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