Paul Ickovic passed away. Robert Klein sent us this text, followed by a second one by Elvira Piedra.
I was saddened to learn that longtime friend and gallery artist Paul Ickovic died on May 23 in Prague. Paul had been living in Europe these past years and while he was distant geographically we were in touch on a regular basis at all hours of the evenings and early mornings. His retrospective exhibition “In Transit” at the BnF in Paris in 2021 alongside his friend Henri Cartier-Bresson was a crowning achievement of his commitment to his life as a photographer. Paul, a self-described vagabond, had a boundless enthusiasm for travel, romance, music, and poetry. Paul wrote in his recently published monograph, “The camera is just a tool to capture that moment of life that we might overlook … I have been extremely fortunate. As I look to the end of my life, I know my decisive moments have ben widely exhibited, and rest in permanent collections where I hope they will continue to spark discomfort, joy, and moments of recognition, for generations to come.” Thank you Paul for your friendship, inspiration, and the pictures and memories we will remember you by.
Paul Ickovic on the streets of Cuba, 2022
Born Pavel, Paul Ickovic was thirteen when he emigrated with his family to the United States via Czechoslovakia, England and Colombia. An assistant of Henri Cartier-Bresson, friend of Josef Koudelka, his lineage is among the great street photographers, yet what he sees expresses the daring and heart that is his alone. With a flair reminiscent of Federico Fellini, Paul Ickovic roams the world in pursuit of moments. A vagabond, a storyteller without words, he flows along the currents of the street, at one moment Paul, the next Pablo, and back again. In a stream of ideas and emotions, he allows his images to float upon the imagination of the viewer and create their own scenarios– tales of the romantic, the fantastic. The poetry of Neruda, the voice of Nina Simone, and the music of Django Reinhardt suffuse his inner world. Using only his Leica, one lens and black and white film, he reveals the ineffable, the bizarre, tender and beautiful apparitions of life. His subject is the
the mythologic drama of ordinary life, and the endless variations of relationship and femininity, depicted in his photographs as well as his playful drawings. A pilot, printer and musician, he is the author of five books– Kafka’s Grave, In Transit, Safe Conduct, Gorgeous Infidelities, a collaboration with poet Naila Moreira, and a children’s book, Nicholas and The Magic Box. His photographs have been widely exhibited and are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; La Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; National Gallery of Art, Prague; Minneapolis Art Museum, the Smithsonian Institution and the New York Public Library which has forty of his prints. His work is represented by Robert Klein Gallery, Boston, Massachusetts. His most recent monograph Paul Ickovic, Photographs, edited by Natalija Polenec and printed by Trifolio was published in 2021 to coincide with the exhibition En Transit at La Bibliothèque Nationale.
Robert Klein Gallery
38 Newbury St.
Boston, MA 02116