At least since the rise of the Depression-era photographers, art photography, it seems, has drifted toward the vernacular, toward reportage. Contemporary galleries brim with work by younger photographers that is snapshot or news-photo derived. Surrealist photography remains one of the few non-vernacular photographic styles to find continued appreciation among the art-viewing public. But, it is still a delight to happen upon a show of an accomplished surrealist photographer who is not Man Ray. The Ubu Gallery recently brought together works by the Czech surrealist Frantisek Vobecky, displaying them within the context of the Czech avant-garde, which in this case means an informative smattering of drawings, an oil, and photomontages by such contemporaries of Vobecky as Jindrich Styrsky, Vaclav Zykmund, and Karel Teige.
A tailor by trade, Vobecky (19021991) studied drawing in Prague and painting in Paris before buying his first camera i ...
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