Bogdan Konopka (1953-2019)

Bogdan Konopka was a Polish photographer and art critic. He was born in 1953 in Dynow, Poland, died in 2019 in Paris.

He first received his training as a photochemist, and later started practicing applied photography at the laboratory of the Polytechnic University of Wroclaw, from which he resigned due to the pressure from the regime. He was a member of the Elementary Photography movement but decided to detach himself from it. He founded the Post Scriptum gallery and participated in different artistic underground actions while photographing Wroclaw and its apocalyptic climate of that period.

He settled in France at the end of 1988 and continued his work on the future of cities and their hidden faces. He was awarded the European Grand Prize for Photography from the City of Vevey in 1998. His attentive and patient gaze focused, among other things, on European cities, but also on Chinese cities and their very threatened vernacular architecture. Stripped of all human figures, his photographic miniatures give off an ineffable breath of life.

Bogdan Konopka’s photographs are somewhat against general trends and very often in black and white or rather “in gray”, exploiting the tone of the whole range of grays going from deep blacks to immaculate whites. His photographs are part of the most important collections in Europe and in the world (Center Georges Pompidou, National Museum of Modern Art, European House of Photography).