Exhibition: Stephen Bulger Gallery - Viktor Kolář: Canada, 1968-1973

Exhibition Dates: January 21February 18
Opening Reception: Saturday, January 21, 2-5pm

TORONTO, Jan. 11, 2017 /CNW/ - The Stephen Bulger Gallery is pleased to present "Canada, 1968-1973", our first solo exhibition of work by the famed Czech photographer Viktor Kolář.

Born (7 September 1941) and raised in Ostrava, Kolář fled to Austria soon after 1968. Shortly after relocating, he discovered that Canada was seeking "young and healthy people" to immigrate, so he and a friend accepted plane tickets to Vancouver. Living in a cheap Chinatown hotel, they attended a six-month English language course and Kolář began to photograph his new surroundings with his father's old Leica camera.

At this time, Kolář shifted his image-making away from generic landscapes and concentrated on producing photographs that captured his bewilderment of his adopted surroundings. He eventually made his way to Toronto but his photographs were deemed too personal by the editors he met. Once he began working as a technician at the BGM photo lab, it enabled him time to pursue his own passion while introducing him to other photographers sympathetic to his vision.

For a period of two years, Kolář's new contacts fostered confidence which resulted in a grant to make new work, exhibit his work, and enabled him to move to Montreal where he was able to better pursue his photography. By 1973 Kolář longed for home, and he returned to Czechoslovakia soon after an amnesty for returnees was adopted.

"Canada, 1968-1973" is comprised of black and white photographs taken by Kolář across Canada, and offers the viewer an impassioned eye on Canadian life during a period of change. Kolář's austere compositions evoke a time of modernization against a backdrop of traditional life, and captures details that, at the time, only an outsider would see as profound.

The work of Viktor Kolář has been exhibited internationally and is included in such collections as the Museum of Contemporary Photography (Chicago), the International Center of Photography (New York), Maison Européenne de la Photographie (Paris), the Museum of Decorative Arts (Prague), and the Victoria and Albert Museum (London). Some of his recent exhibitions include retrospectives at the Sprengel Museum (Hannover), Galerie u Kaumenného zvonu (Prague), and the Starmach Gallery (Kraków). He has had seven monographs published of his work including Human (2015), Canada, 1968-1973 (2013), and Ostrava (2010).

SOURCE Stephen Bulger Gallery

For further information: Stephen Bulger Gallery, 1026 Queen Street West Toronto Canada, 416.504.0575, info@bulgergallery.com

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