In Prague, Three Photo-Driven Shows

The New York Times

Prague’s a picturesque place, with amateur shooters frequently snapping its cobblestoned streets and historic skyline. The city also appreciates fine photography — it currently has three worthwhile exhibitions focusing on the medium.

Michel Comte, the Swiss fashion and portrait photographer, is showing for the first time in Prague with “Not Only Women — Feminine Icons of Our Times” at the new Leica Gallery (Skolska 28; 420-731-951-584;, through April 3. The exhibition features 60 black-and-white and color photographs assembled by the Italian curator Serena Baccaglini.

“It is more than women here, it’s the emotions,” Ms. Baccaglini said. “Michel can catch souls and beauty at the same time.”

Portraits include Tina Turner, Sophia Loren and Cindy Crawford.

“My favorite is Tina Turner; the energy strikes you,” Ms. Baccaglini continued. “It’s not easy to communicate that kind of energy in a photograph and Michel can capture the character of a woman.”

Down by the river at the landmark Galerie Rudolfinum (Alsovo nabrezi 1; 420-227-059-309; a completely different exploration of photography is taking place. “Mutating Medium,” showing through May 1, aims to survey the evolution of Czech photography over the last 20 years.

“Mutating Medium” offers a look at the evolution of photography from both a historical and a technological perspective. The roughly 150 pieces are a mix of “classic” photographs and pieces in which the artists used or referenced photography indirectly, in a painting, installation or collage.

At one of the city’s newer museums, Dox Center for Contemporary Art (Poupetova 1; 420-774-145-434;, you can explore the amusing photographs of the British documentary specialist Martin Parr, in “Assorted Cocktail,” showing through May 16.

“One of the missions of DOX is to present influential artists who play an important role in contemporary art,” said Irena Sorfova, curator of the exhibition. “Martin Parr is a very innovative photographer who has influenced many other photographers and is also active in other fields — for example, he makes documentary films, etc.”

Mr. Parr originally became known in the ’80s for his depiction of everyday British life, but has since expanded his themes to include more global issues such as tourism and mass consumption. “Assorted Cocktail” presents a variety of cycles dating back to the early ’80s, with themes that include “Bored Couples,” “Common Sense” and “Last Report.” His whimsical yet telling photos will put a smile on many photography fans faces. And the bright colors and beach scenes mean a great escape from Prague’s winter skies.