Museum Exhibition Catalogues, Monographs, Artist's Projects, Curatorial Writings and Essays
Callahan did somehow arrive quickly at the sure knowledge that the function of his own work was to describe not the public issues of the great world, but the interior shape of his private experience. John Szarkowski
Harry Callahan (1912-1999) was born in Detroit, and began his career by joining the camera club at Chrysler Motors in 1938. He became one of the great innovators of twentieth-century American photography, and later taught at the Institute of Design in Chicago and then the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, where he founded and directed the Graduate Program in Photography. He is known, not only for landscapes but also for his dynamic urban views, portraits of his wife, Eleanor, and extensive color work. All of this was widely published and exhibited during his lifetime, and was the subject of a major retrospective at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., in the late 1990s. Previous monographs include The Photographer at Work, Elemental Landscapes, Callahan in New England, Early Street Photography 1943-1945, Color 1941-1980, and New Color Photographs 1978-1987.
One of the foremost American photographers of the 20th century, Harry Callahan (1912–99) explored the expressive possibilities of both color and black-and-white photography from the outset of his career. Following his retirement from teaching at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1977, however, he decided to dedicate his practice exclusively to color and pursue travel to foreign locales.
The 23 photographs in this publication, taken in Morocco in 1981, are the product of Callahan’s shift to a strictly chromatic palette and demonstrate his continued interest in the visual intrigue of the everyday urban landscape and the passersby who occupy it. Depicting his familiar subjects of architectural facades, random patterns of street activity and isolated figures lost in thought, the images transcend Morocco’s exoticism by exploring the formal and pictorial potential of the country’s environment.
Published by Actes Sud/Maison européenne de la photographie. Text by Jean-Luc Monterosso, Peter MacGill, Laurie Hurwitz, Pascal Höel.
Harry Callahan's French archive records a year of plenitude and serenity in Provence
In 1956, when the photographer Harry Callahan was head of Chicago’s Institute of Design, he received Graham Foundation funding to create the project of his choice. On Edward Steichen’s advice he took a sabbatical year and headed to Europe with his wife Eleanor and his seven-year-old daughter Barbara. After two months in Germany, they lived in Aix-en-Provence from September 1957 through July 1958.
Callahan had never left North America before, and his work had always focused on Chicago and the landscapes of the American Midwest. France proved to be a huge culture shock. Looking beyond what he called the “picturesque” aspect of the French town, he methodically set about a deeper exploration of his subjects. As always, he spent the morning outside with his camera and afternoons in the dark room. In France, Callahan created a series of nature studies, urban views and portraits of Eleanor, who had already been central to his work for 10 years and would remain so for another 50. Callahan, who looked back on his time in Aix-en-Provence as a period of plenitude and absolute pleasure, donated 130 works from his “French Archives” to the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris. This volume publishes a selection from that beautiful body of work.
Photographer Harry Callahan (1912–99) was invited by László Moholy-Nagy in 1946 to join the faculty of Chicago’s Institute of Design. The school’s experimental philosophy helped Callahan develop a photographic vocabulary of formal abstraction and experimentation with light which he applied to the subjects he photographed for decades: buildings, nature and street scenes, as well as his daughter and his wife.
Harry Callahan was one of the most respected and influential American photographers of the modern era. He was a master of traditional genres such as portraiture, landscape, architecture and nature studies, but also experimented with new ways of using the medium. One of Callahan's favorite themes was the repeating pattern, whether in multiple reeds reflected on a lake‘s surface or the rows of windows on a building‘s facade. While lesser known than some of his other work, Callahan's collages demonstrate an intense interest in and profound understanding of the process of photographic seeing. His collages are rigorous yet playful explorations of a visual world created in his studio. The subject is either faces cut from magazines or rectangles cut from black or white paper. Callahan then photographed the collages pinned to his studio wall on his 8x10-inch view camera, one leading to the next to create this never before published series.
Published by Aperture. Photographs by Harry Callahan.
“Photography is an adventure just as life is an adventure,” Harry Callahan has stated. “If man wishes to express himself photographically, he must understand, surely to a certain extent, his relationship to life.” Looking then at this adventure, this remarkably clear and straightforward life, the pictures... tell the story of Harry Callahan is his work. And therein lies his legend. --Arno Rafael Minkkinen Harry Callahan, known for his bold exploration of quotidian details and his innovative use of the abstract in photography, has created a career that spans many eras and lives. From his extended portrait of his wife, Eleanor, to formal studies of architectural structures and his observation of abstract expressionist line in natural forms, Callahan's work has been central to the development of American photography. His legacy endures in the vibrancy of his images and the inspiration his teaching has brought to many.
BOOK FORMAT Hardcover, 8 x 8 in. / 96 pgs / 50 reproductions throughout.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 6/15/2005 No longer our product
DISTRIBUTION Contact Publisher
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9780893818210TRADE List Price: $12.50 CDN $15.00
Published by Philadelphia Museum of Art. Essay by Katherine Ware. Foreword by Anne d'Harnoncourt.
Elemental Landscapes accompanies an exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art that concentrates exclusively on the landscape photographs of the late American photographer Harry Callahan. The natural landscape was a subject that occupied Callahan throughout his career, and examples range in time from the early 1940s to the early 1990s, providing an in-depth look at the artist's evolution. Callahan was fascinated not by the wide, sweeping landscapes of photographers like Ansel Adams but by more intimate pictures, which often remove the context of earth and sky from the scene, creating abstractions that challenge our notions of landscape by presenting a small slice of the world in all its infinite detail.
PUBLISHER Philadelphia Museum of Art
BOOK FORMAT Paperback, 9 x 12 in. / 56 pgs / 59 duotone
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 6/2/2001 No longer our product
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: FALL 2001
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9780876331507TRADE List Price: $20.00 CDN $25.00