Abstrakt is a collection of photographs selected by Ernst Haas for a two-projector 25-minute film he worked on until his death in 1986. The photographs span his entire career in color from 1952 to 1984. Many of the photographs were shown in Life magazine’s first color issue devoted to Haas’ 1953 story on New York, “Images of a Magic City,” and in his 1962 solo exhibition Ernst Haas: Color Photography at The Museum of Modern Art, the first color retrospective at that institution. The photographs in this book show various abstractions—from street detritus to torn posters and other found objects. Haas considered this project to be the culmination of his work in photography.
Ernst Haas was born in Vienna in 1921 and took up photography after World War II. His early work on returning Austrian prisoners of war brought him to the attention of Life, from whom he resolutely declined a job as staff photographer in order to maintain his independence. At the invitation of Robert Capa, Haas joined Magnum in 1949, developing close associations with Capa, Werner Bischof and Henri Cartier-Bresson. He began experimenting with color, and in time became the premier color photographer of the 1950s. In 1962 New York’s Museum of Modern Art mounted its first solo exhibition of his color work. Haas’s books were legion, with The Creation (1971) selling 350,000 copies. Haas received the Hasselblad Award in 1986, the year of his death. His books to date with Steidl are Color Correction (2011) and On Set (2015).
Published by Steidl. Edited with text by William A. Ewing. Text by Philip Prodger.
Ernst Haas is one of the best-known, most prolific and most published photographers of the 20th century. He is famed for his vibrant color style, which, for decades, was much in demand by the illustrated press. This work, published in the most influential magazines in Europe and America, also produced a constant stream of books, and these too enjoyed great popularity. But although his color work earned him international fame, in recent decades it has been derided as "overly commercial" or not sufficiently "serious." Yet there was a side of Haas’ work almost entirely hidden from view: parallel to his commissioned work, he made images independently, images far more edgy, loose, complex, ambiguous and radical than the work for which he is famed. Hass never printed these pictures in his lifetime, nor did he exhibit them, perhaps believing that they would not be understood or appreciated. This volume, intended to "correct" the record, compiles these photos of great complexity for the first time in print. Ernst Haas (1921–86) was an Austrian-born artist who enjoyed a 40-year career as a photojournalist and creative photographer. A self-trained photographer, Haas first began to photograph his native Vienna in the aftermath of World War II. He published in various magazines before joining Magnum Photos, of which he would eventually become president. In 1950 Haas traveled to New York for a project and remained there for the rest of his life. The Museum of Modern Art presented a ten-year survey of his color photography in 1961—its first solo-artist retrospective dedicated to color work.
Published by Steidl. Edited with introduction by John P. Jacob. Text by Walter Moser.
This book considers the film stills of Ernst Haas (1921-86), one of the most accomplished photographers of the 20th century, transgressing the borders between still photography and the moving image. Haas worked with a variety of eminent directors--from Vittorio de Sica to John Huston, Gene Kelly and Michael Cimino--and depicted cinema genres from suspense (The Third Man, The Train) to the Western (The Oregon Trail, Little Big Man), and from comedy (Miracle in Milan, Love and Death) to musicals (West Side Story, Hello Dolly). Haas inscribed a temporal, filmic dimension into his stills which, when viewed in a sequence, generate movement and narrative. So accomplished was his mastery of color, light and motion that Haas was frequently asked to photograph large group actions--from the battle scenes of The Charge of the Light Brigade and the dances of West Side Story to the ski slopes of Downhill Racer. On Set elucidates a novel perspective on the sets and the stars Haas photographed, and reveals a little-known but crucial dimension of his oeuvre.