Josef Koudelka
Invasion 68 Prague

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In 1968 Josef Koudelka was thirty years old. He had committed himself to photography as a full-time career only recently, and had been chronicling the theater and the lives of Gypsies, but he had never photographed a news event. That all changed on the night of August 21, when Warsaw Pact tanks invaded the city of Prague, ending the short-lived political freedom in Czechoslovakia that came to be known as the Prague Spring. In the midst of the turmoil of the Soviet-led invasion, Koudelka took to the streets to document this critical moment. It was a major turning point in his life.

Koudelka’s photographs of the invasion were miraculously smuggled out of the country. A year after they reached New York, Magnum Photos distributed the images, but credited them to an unknown Czech photographer to avoid reprisals. The intensity and significance of the images earned the still-anonymous photographer the Robert Capa Award. Sixteen years passed before Koudelka could safely acknowledge authorship.

The exhibition, Invasion 68 Prague, is comprised of images personally selected by Josef Koudelka from his extensive archive. Conceived as an installation it features large-scale, ink-jet prints as well as related texts.

In August 2008, Aperture published the monograph of the same title on the occasion of the fortieth anniversary of the invasion.

This exhibition is coproduced with Magnum Photos and is made possible, in part, by generous support from Mark and Elizabeth Levine. Additional support provided by HP and Coloredge.

Exhibition proposal available for download:
Koudelka Exhibition Proposal

The Guardian, “Koudelka: witness to an invasion”
The Washington Post, “Prague 1968: A Timeless Evocation of Tragedy”

The exhibition consists of seventy black-and-white ink-jet prints at 35 3/4 x 23 1/4 in.; four at 44 x 61 1/2 in.; and one color “document” at 11 x 14 in. The exhibition also includes one film and six extensive text panels.

Invasion 68: Prague
Photographs by Josef Koudelka
296 pages
250 duotone images

Participation Fee:
Please call Annette Booth at (212) 946-7128.
$7,500 for an 8-week showing. The host venue is responsible for pro-rated shipping and insurance.

The exhibition is available through 2014.

Current Venue List: