Jan Reich (source: Michal Doležal, ČTK)

Jan Reich (source: Michal Doležal, ČTK)

Jan Reich

1942 (Prague) - 2009 (Prague)

Jan Reich came from Prague, after graduating at a high school in 1959 he worked as a construction worker. He started shooting at this time, the first cycles were called The Beginnings and Prague. His father was evicted to the Sudetenland after a political coup. Jan photographed abandoned villages in this region and created set of pictures The Characters of Region and Doubice.


He also worked as a propman in the Barrandov film studios, after the military service he worked as a photographer in the cooperative Fotographia. He worked as a laborer in a circus Europe in '64 and travelled with them through Slovakia, he went with Kludský Circus on tour Moravia in the following year. He created thematic cycles Slovakia and The Circus after these tours.


He was admitted to The Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, the specialization in art photography. After the Russian invasion to Czechoslovakia he could no longer freely photograph for magazines that´s why Reich went to Paris at the end of '69. He photographed extensively and created series The Portraits and Paris. He returned soon and completed his study.


During seventies he photographed Prague Holešovice, Libeň and Vysočany for the set Disappearing Prague. Reich scanned images on the wooden camera which he obtained from photographer Josef Sudek.


He got married with his wife Jana, they had daughters Johana, Tereza and Kateřina and they bought a cottage in a countryside. He compiled the cycle The House in A Landscape with images from Sedlčany which also includes pictures of the original interiors of rural houses.


He became a professional photographer in 1970 and he created two cycles - Prague and The Vltava and Prague. He decided to capture historical and spiritual places all over the Czech Republic, large format photographies were presented in the cycle Bohemia. This cycle was published in a book form in 2005 and it was awarded by the main prize Magnesia Litera.


He co-founded the group of Czech Clog (wooden box camera) in 2000, together with photographers Karel Kuklík, Jaroslav Beneš and Bohumír Prokůpek. Jan Reich succumbed to cancer in November 2009.


Petr Třešňák: Jan Reich, Torst, 2009

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