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Jaroslav Rössler

Czech, 1902 - 1990

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Biography

In 1917 Jaroslav Rössler began his career as an apprentice in the Prague studio of Frantisek Drtikol, where he learned the techniques of oil, bromoil, pigment and other printing techniques. From 1923 to 1925, he also made a series of his own photographs, using contrasts of geometrical areas of light, shade and reflections with different shades of black, grey and white tones, and geometric shapes cut from paper and cardboard.

In the mid 1920s Rössler went to Paris to enlarge his photographic experience by working in some of the city's well-known studios. While in Paris he continued his photographic experiments, and his picture poems, photographs, collages and drawings influenced by Cubism were occasionally published in avant-garde periodicals.

In 1935, Rössler was expelled from France as a suspicious foreigner after being jailed for photographing a street demonstration. He returned to Prague, opened a portrait studio, and for many years gave up his own creative work. He resumed working in the mid 1950s, in some ways continuing his older work, especially in photomontage and geometrically harmonized compositions with strong shadows.

Although Rössler's work includes some of the most progressive and earliest examples of the application of abstract tendencies in creative photography, it remained little known even in his own country until the mid 1960s and 1970s.

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