was a pioneer of Czech avant-garde photography and a member of the association of Czech avant-garde artists Devětsil (Butterbur). He was born to the Czech-German father, Eduard Rössler, and a Czech mother, Adéla Nollová
. From 1917 to 1920, Rössler studied in the atelier of the company owned by renowned Czech photographer František Drtikol
. Subsequently, he worked with the company as a laboratory technician.
At 21 years old, he began a collaboration with the art theorist Karel Teige
, who assigned him to create a typographic layout for magazines Pásmo
(Revue Devětsilu). While working on these tasks, Rössler deepened his knowledge of photographic methods. In his works he utilized and combined the techniques of photogram, photomontage, collage and drawing. The beginnings of his photographic work were influenced by Cubism and Futurism, but he also attempted to create the first abstract photographs. In 1923, he became a member of the avant-garde association Devětsil
In 1925, he went on a six-month study visit to Paris. The same year he began working as a photographer in the Osvobozené divadlo in Prague. Before his second departure to Paris, he co-worked as a commercial photographer with the pictorial magazine Pestrý týden
In 1927, Rössler moved to Paris together with his wife, Gertruda Fischerová
(1894–1976). Initially, he focused on commercial photography. He collaborated with the experimental studio of Lucien Lorell
, and worked on commissions for notable companies such as Michelin and Shell. However, later he found an interest in the "street life"
of Paris, which influenced his future stay in the city. During a demonstration, he encountered the protesters and took photographs of the event. Shortly after that he was arrested, and after a six-month imprisonment, he was expelled from the country, in 1935. The alleged reason for his expulsion was his German-sounding surname.
After his return from Paris, Rössler and his wife resided in Prague, Žižkov. He opened a small photographic atelier, but difficulties associated with the management of the studio caused a significant gap in his artistic work, lasting for almost two decades.
In the 1950s, he resumed his previous activities and again began experimenting with the camera and photographic techniques. He created so-called prizmata
(prisms), photographs taken through a birefringent prism. Additionally, he experimented with solarisation and explored the possibilities of the Sabatier effect.
Jaroslav Rössler, together with František Drtikol
, Josef Sudek
and Jaromír Funke
, is today considered an important exponent of Czech modern photography and avant-garde art.
Jaroslav Rössler was one of the most distinctive artists of the Czech avant-garde, known for fusing disparate elements of Symbolism, Pictorialism, Expressionism, Cubism, Futurism, Constructivism, New Objectivity and abstract art.
From 1917 to 1920, Rossler studied and worked as a lab technician under František Drtikol, but he quickly abandoned the pictorialist style of his famous teacher, turning instead to more avant-garde techniques and compositional approaches, including experiments with photograms, enlarged detail, diagonal composition, photomontage, double exposure, and experiments with color advertising photographs and still lifes produced with the carbro print process.
Jaroslav Rössler often photographed objects against stark backgrounds, or used long exposures, to reduce subjects to their elementary lines and geometric shapes. In 1923 he became a member of the assocation of Czech avant- garde artists Devětsil. From 1927 to 1935, he lived and worked in Paris, producing work influenced by Constructivism and New Objectivity. After his return to Prague, he was relatively inactive until the late 1950s, when he renewed experimentations with solarization and photographing through a prism.
Source: Robert Koch Gallery