Harry Callahan: The Photographer at Work

Photography monograph designed for the Center for Creative Photography / Yale University Press

Essay by Britt Salvesen; foreword by John Szarkowski

From photo-eye:
Famously self-effacing, rarely self-revealing, Callahan has remained something of an enigma. Initially influenced by Alfred Stieglitz’s romantic-artist persona (as filtered through Ansel Adams), and by László Maholy-Nagy’s avant-garde Bauhaus sensibility, Callahan steered an intuitive course that kept him close to family, nature and the urban landscape, on the one hand, but also allowed him a free hand with transformative abstraction, both in the viewfinder and in the darkroom. A largely self-taught photographer, Callahan thought that he was “as good as [he’d] ever be” early on in his artistic life. Once he was able to think of fine art as a real career, he looked at his photographs as a slowly accreting record of the way life affected him, rather than a willed series of aesthetic moves. His work, his working method and his teaching (for many years in tandem with Aaron Siskind) influenced a generation of photographers. Harry Callahan: The Photographer at Work attempts to get inside the man by looking closely at his influences, and the way they play out in the work; images and negatives are drawn from the superb Callahan archive at the Center for Creative Photography.

192 pages
9.75 x 11.75 inches