Josef Koudelka, Gypsies / Gitans. La fin du voyage, 1975

Gypsies published by Aperture 1975 dust jacket back and front

Gypsies published by Aperture 1975 dust jacket back and front

 

Josef Koudelka’s Gypsies is one of those milestone publications in the history of photography and photobooks. Josef Koudelka travelled throughout Europe following the route of this nomadic folk. Most of the photographs in this book were made in the encampments of Eastern Slovakia, between 1962 and 1968. Black and white photography at its best. The photographer is close to his subjects, often using wide angle or short lenses. Josef Koudelka’s images are intimate, deep and full of warmth. He documents life and death as part of our daily existence. I guess this is one of the keys to the book’s success.

All the plates are placed on the right-hand page. Koudelka’s decision to ignore pagination adds to the visually clean and straight forward concept of the book’s layout. French publisher Robert Delpire and Josef Koudelka selected the sixty photographs shown in this first publication of the title.

“I think probably I got involved with gypsies because of the music.” Josef Koudelka

60 photographs

Gitans. La fin du voyage published by Delpire éditeur (Paris) in 1975
Introduction by Robert Delpire
Five pages afterword by Willy Guy

Gypsies published by Aperture and simultaneously (in soft cover) by the The Museum of Modern Art (New York) in 1975
Introduction by John Szarkowski (The Museum of Modern Art) and Anna Fárová (Prague)
Five pages afterword by Willy Guy

Gypsies was also published by Robert Hale, London 1075 and Viking Pr. 1975

 Hard cover dust jacket

 App. 30.3 x 27.4 cm

136 pages

Gitans published by Delpire  in 1975 cover back and front

Gitans published by Delpire in 1975 cover back and front

Josef_Koudelka_Gitans_00

Gitans published by Delpire  in 1975 dust jacket back and front

Gitans published by Delpire in 1975 dust jacket back and front

Josef_Koudelka_Gypsies_00Josef_Koudelka_Gypsies_01Josef_Koudelka_Gypsies_02Josef_Koudelka_Gypsies_03Josef_Koudelka_Gypsies_04Josef_Koudelka_Gypsies_05Josef_Koudelka_Gypsies_06Josef_Koudelka_Gypsies_07Josef_Koudelka_Gypsies_08

In France le nouvel observateur special photo magazine (No.1/hors série) offered the book for sale at 150 Francs in 1977 (app. 22.90 Euros today).

Ad for Gitans published by Delpire in XXXXX in 1976

Advertisement for Gitans published by Delpire in le nouvel observateur special photo (No.1/hors série) June 1977

 

 


 

 

Josef Koudelka, Roma, 2011

 

The book was reprinted many times and was republished in 2011 with the originally intended edit of Josef Koudelka and Milan Kopriva containing 109 images. The images in this publication were taken between 1962 and 1971. The most significant difference to the original publication, apart from the wonderful rich printing quality, is the presentation of landscape-format images as double pages. This really does emphasize the full power of Koudelka’s images. I generally prefer first editions, but this republication is exceptional. The superior printing quality, additional images, and new design basically make it a new book in its own right anyway.

Gypsies published by Aperture in New York
Gypsies published by Thames & Hudson in England
Gitans published by Delpire in France
Zingari published by Contrasto in Italy
Cikáni published by Torst in Czech Republic
Gitanos published by Lunwerg Editores in Spain
Roma published by Steidl in Germany

Gypsies published by Thames & Hudson in 2011 dust jacket front, Gitanos

Gypsies published by Thames & Hudson in 2011 dust jacket front, Gitanos

Gitans published by Delpire in 2011 dust jacket front, Gypsies published by Thames & Hudson in 2011 dust jacket front

Gitans published by Delpire in 2011 dust jacket front, Gypsies published by Aperture in 2011 dust jacket front

Cikani published by Thorst in 2011 dust jacket front, Zingari published by Contrasto in 2011 dust jacket front

Zingari published by Contrasto in 2011 dust jacket front, Cikáni published by Thorst in 2011 dust jacket front

Roma published in 2011 by Steidl

Roma published in 2011 by Steidl dust jacket front

Josef_Koudelka_Roma_00Josef_Koudelka_Roma_01Josef_Koudelka_Roma_02Josef_Koudelka_Roma_03Josef_Koudelka_Roma_04Josef_Koudelka_Roma_05Josef_Koudelka_Roma_06Josef_Koudelka_Roma_07Josef_Koudelka_Roma_08