Collection of 62 original silver-gelatin photographs [INCLUDING 4 SELF-PORTRAITS AND 22 REPRODUCED IN ABECEDA DUSEVNIHO PRAZDNA]
Price: 35,000.00 USD
NP: 1945. 62 silver-gelatin photographs by Zdenek Tmej, including four self-portraits, twenty-two images from his 1946 book "Abeceda Dusevniho Prázdna*" (some of which are flopped in the publication), some similars to images chosen for the book, with others taken on May 5, 1945--the first day of the Prague uprising. Except for the four photos taken during the insurrection, all the photographs in this collection offer an extraordinary look inside a German forced labor camp in Breslau, Germany, where Zdenek Tmej was forced to work for the Nazi war effort from 1942 to 1944. "It is remarkable that Zdenek Tmej, a Czech citizen was able to photograph at all, let alone produce such a poetic response to the horrors of the war." (See: Andrew Roth's The Book of 101 Books, pp.124-125.) Armed with a concealed camera, Tmej portrays the experience of captivity through images loaded with furtiveness and despair. The striking photographs depict the everyday life of foreign workers inside the Breslau labor camp: men sleeping among other men, workers sharing their meal or playing cards, anonymous interiors, institutional rooms crowded with men, etc. Nineteen photos depict scenes at the local brothel which was strictly reserved for foreigners: prostitutes flirting and dancing with men, a "family portrait" of the owner with his working girls, a young woman changing clothes in her room, the brothel cook, etc. Photo size slightly varies. Average size is approx. 9" x 12". Some photographs are numbered and have captions in German or French on verso, and all bear a 'Foto Zdenek Tmej' stamp. Later prints, printed from the original negatives ca. 1960. Very minor and sporadic creasing along edges. Photographs in overall very good condition. *From Abeceda Dusevniho Prázdna: Man sleeping on table with briefcases (cover and first book image) Man with broken eyeglasses and head bandage Big hall for veterans with group of men Three men playing cards Group of men playing cards Man eating with spoon and bowl Man reading by candlelight (flopped) Two men sleeping (flopped) Official seated near Hitler portrait Hitler portrait & chairs Man in coat and hat (flopped) Man seated with hand mitts and beret Three men and prostitute Woman stroking man's chin Five men and a woman Woman and man dancing Man and woman with cigarette dancing (flopped) Prostitute in transparent dress (flopped) Woman in bathroom Woman in apartment (flopped) Man paying at window Woman leaning back in chair (flopped). vg.