The exhibition of Milan Pitlach Photographs from Czechoslovakia 1968 – 1980 will be in the Atelier Josef Sudek at Újezd in Malostransk until mid-December.
A selection of photos of the Czech architect of many talents, with which he coped with the atmosphere of normalization before his departure for emigration, are exhibited for the first time in his native country as an additional reminder of Pitlach’s death the year before last. The curator of the exhibition is Pavel Vančát.
“This time was not great. She lacked any ethos. She was characterized by mediocrity, it was no longer easy not to succumb. (…) These photos are not only a record of visual sensations, but they are also a record of my feelings of those years, my feeling of unfulfillment…” – these are the words of the creator, architect and photographer Milan Pitlach himself (1943 in Kroměříž – 2021 in Düsseldorf).
Milan Pitlach graduated from the Faculty of Architecture of the Czech Technical University in Prague (1966, he did his diploma project at the Department of Urbanism under Prof. Krise). In the years 1966-69, he worked in the Association of Project Ateliers in Prague, the Delta atelier. He then spent a year interning in the London office of Yorke, Rosenberg & Mardall. In the years 1971-80, he was employed at the Construction Project Institute of the capital city of Prague. In 1981 he emigrated to the Federal Republic of Germany. He worked in the offices of Dansard, Kalenborn & Partner, Heuser Architects, and then in the OM Ungers studio in Cologne between 1984-89. In 1984–85 he was a visiting professor at the Bergische Universität in Wuppertal. In 1992–93, he worked at the Czech Technical University in Prague. In 2003-09, he worked in Shanghai as the company’s chief architect Archlong Group Co.
Stylish diversity and perfect execution. Stained glass windows of the St. Vitus Cathedral in the Imperial Stables
Milan Pitlach has been involved in photography since the late 1960s. During his internship in London, he “let himself be charmed by new ways and manifestations of life, with which he resonated and very quickly identified with them. Because it seemed important to him, he wanted to record it… He did so in the form of photographs and notes, both almost diary-like, because rather than a distanced and professional approach, there is an obvious relationship of someone who wants to speak visually and literary about a subjective experience and perhaps about a key events of his life,” wrote Anna Fárová in the catalog of one of his numerous exhibitions.
He had the first one in Prague’s Reduta in 1972.
In the Czech Republic of the 1970s, he continued to document the Czech reality during the period of normalization. The same aesthetic is also carried by his pictures from his travels from this decade (Poland, GDR, Russia). At that time, he also began to develop an intimate line of his work, which found its expression in a publication in a cycle called Diaries (published by Torst in 1999).
After emigrating, he began to benefit from the possibilities of freedom of movement, the reflection of which was the intensification of his photographic activity. In the work of the eighties, noted many trips (Italy, France, Japan, USA) is his most extensive collection of photographs from India. Pitlach’s last major subject of documentary photography was China, where he lived as an architect for six years.
Sources: Atelier Josef Sudek + Wikipedia + FA CTU