Tate Britain

Markéta Luskačová Until 12 May 2019

Main Floor
Marketa Luskacova, ‘Man singing on Brick Lane, London’ 1982
Marketa Luskacova, Man singing on Brick Lane, London 1982. Tate. © Marketa Luskacova

Markéta Luskačová (born 1944) is best known for her black and white photographs of religious rituals in Slovakia and life in London markets

Czech-born Luskačová is one of the leading documentary photographers to emerge in the 1970s and 1980s. She first won international recognition for Pilgrims (1964–1971), a study of ancient Christian rituals in eastern Slovakia.

Luskačová left Czechoslovakia for England in 1975 after the hardening of communist rule in the years following a short-lived period of liberalisation known as the ‘Prague Spring’.

Luskačová’s photography shows a concern for the ties that bind people together. What her subjects have in common – whether pilgrims or street traders, buskers or bathers – is an investigation into lives lived with determination in the face of change and adversity. Her portraits of people in their everyday contexts achieve a subtle ambiguity of mood – at the same time bleak and uplifting, sad and humorous, dark and hopeful.

a black and white photograph of a woman standing in front of a large image of a babe

Woman Selling Trousers, Bethnal Green Road, from the series 'Photographs from Spitalfields', 1990 Silver gelatin print on paper

Courtesy of the artist and Augusta Edwards Fine Art

Curated by Kate Bush with Zuzana Flaskova


Tate Britain
London SW1P 4RG
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Art in this room

Marketa Luskacova People around a fire, Spitalfields Market, London

1976, later print

Marketa Luskacova Cafe, Bethnal Green Road, London

1979, later print

Marketa Luskacova Street musician, Cheshire Street, London

1977, later print

Marketa Luskacova Woman and man with bread, Spitalfields, London

1976, later print

All rooms in this display