K. O. Hrubý was an important figure in contemporary Czech photography, teacher, curator and reviewer of exhibitions, author of literature about photography, organizer of lectures, workshops and shows in the realm of amateur photography. In 2016 he would have celebrated his 100th birthday – his legacy will be commemorated by a retrospective exhibition. Its concept will be based on the principle thematic and thought areas of the photographic work of K. O. Hrubý. It will concentrate both on his beginnings, when he continued the tradition of Czech inter-war avant-garde photography, and the main stages of his photographic oeuvre., with very broad thematic coverage - the exhibition will comprise live photography, portraits, landscapes, snapshots from everyday life, photographs of the metamorphosing city, theatre and staged photography. The exhibited set will outline the development and the milestones in the work of K. O. Hrubý in the context of the period trends in style as well as the overall situation in society.
From the end of the 1950s K. O. Hrubý’s engagements greatly influenced both the professional and amateur photographic scene in Brno. He was the co-founder of the VOX photographic group from Brno and the leading formative force behind teaching at the photography department of the School of Arts and Crafts (ŠUŘ) in Brno (1951 – 1977). He was an advocate of the traditional values of black-and-white photography, the need for an order in art and the characteristic features of the photographic medium, its ability to convey ideas. K. O. Hrubý was one of the founders of the Association of Czech Photographers, the School of Art Photography under this association (later the Institute of Creative Photography at the Silesian University in Opava), organized the activities of the Brno Photographers’ Club. So far, his life-long work and contribution to Czech photography have not been sufficiently appreciated, there is no monograph that would set his work into the period circumstances and evaluate his significance in the context of Czech photography. The Brno House of Arts responds to this situation by organizing the retrospective exhibition showing photographs on loan from public and private collections. It will be accompanied by an extensive publication.
Read more information on Karel Otto Hrubý in Context in text by Antonín Dufek, translated by Derek Paton: download here.