“Fish, friends, flowers” was what he liked most in life, the great writer, artist and art critic John Berger once said. Shortly after the first anniversary of his passing, drawings by John Berger which vary this trias in many surprising ways are on show in this exhibition. His drawings enter into a dialogue with photographs by Jitka Hanzlová, with whom John Berger maintained a close friendship and intensive artistic exchange until the end of his life. Jitka Hanzlová’s photographs of fish, flowers and her friend John Berger are multi-layered reflections on time, timelessness and transience.
John Berger (1926—2017) was an English art critic, artist, novelist, and poet. His novel G. won the 1972 Booker Prize, and his essay on art criticism Ways of Seeing, written as an accompaniment to a BBC series, has become a classic and is taught in many universities. His books on art and photography include also The Success and Failure of Picasso (1965), Another Way of Telling (1982), The Shape of a Pocket (2001), Bento's Sketchbook (2011) and Confabulations (2016).
Jitka Hanzlová came to Germany in 1982 and studied visual communication with a focus on photography at the University of Essen. In 1993, she received the Otto Steinert Prize, 1995 the scholarship of DG BANK Frankfurt, 2003 the Grand Prix Award, Arles, 2007 the Paris Photo Prize for Contemporary Photography. She has presented her work in numerous international solo exhibitions at renowned museums such as the National Gallery of Scotland (2013), Kunsthaus Bregenz, Billboards (2008), Museum Folkwang Essen (2006), Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2001), and Deichtorhallen Hamburg (2000).
Jitka Hanzlová’s work is held in the permanent collections of several major museums, e.g. the Museum of Modern Art, New York, Museum Folkwang, Essen, the San Francisco MOMA, Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Frans Hals Museum, Haarlem, Holland, National Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh, UK, and the Seattle Art Museum, USA.