04 May 2013
A major retrospective exhibition on the work of Harry Callahan has opened in Hamburg, Germany and will run until June 9 2013. Information can be found here and installation views here. The good news for those of us who will not get to see it is that Kehrer Verlag will be publishing a book (in german and english) of the show. It will feature texts by Julian Cox, Peter MacGill, Dick Luckow and Sabine Schnakenberg.
One can only hope that is will approach the quality of Yale University Press 2006 publication, Harry Callahan: A photographer at Work. This is a gem of a book which has an excellent essay by Britt Salvesen and foreword by John Szarkowski.
The book gives an insight into the creative approach of Callahan, from his selection of themes, his experimentations, the printing process, to reflections from the photographer himself. To quote from Brit Salvesen essay " He seemed to be able to move effortlessly across the territory that lay between the poles established by Adams and Moholy. Tonal and linear , emotional and detached, spiritual and material, naive and sophisticated, personal and universal: these oppositions seem to characterise Callahan's entire production and to explain his enduring reputation”.
Combine this with thoughtful page design and excellent duotone printing, it is easy to heartily recommend this book to anyone who is interested in exploring Callahan's work.
As for the 'retrospective' book it promises to show a greater overview of this great American photographer’s work, and that will be no bad thing.