Jaromír Funke


Jaromír Funke (Czech, 1896–1945) studied medicine, law, art history, and philosophy before turning his attention to photography in 1920. At first he photographed Neue Sachlichkeit still lifes and landscapes before devoting himself to photograms and abstract compositions. In 1922 the experimental line in Funke’s artistic work began with the use of geometric still lifes, which developed into nonfigurative shadowgraphs (1927–1929). From the end of the 1920s Funke worked on his lifetime project of emotional photography, which also incorporated a reaction to Surrealism. He influenced Czechoslovak photography both as a theorist and as a teacher. From 1931 on Funke taught photography in Bratislava, from 1935 to 1944 he was professor at the National Design School in Prague. He became a spokesman for Czech avant-garde photography and was a member of progressive photography associations. Josef Sudek numbered among his close friends. Along with Jaroslav Rössler, Funke occupies a place in the international context of photography similar to that occupied by František Kupka in painting.