Three Photographers Push the Limits of Black and White at Pace/MacGill
Flush-mounted to Crescent illustration board.
From the Catalogue:
Another example of Callahan’s studies of the frozen waters of Chicago can be found in Britt Salveson’s Harry Callahan: The Photographer at Work (pl. 14). The photograph shown there (from the Harry Callahan Archive at the Center for Creative Photography), taken in the 1950s, pictures richly textured ice bordered by still, unfrozen water.
The present photograph, a visually complex study of tone and texture, was gifted from the photographer in the early 1950s. It is believed to be an exhibition print from Abstraction in Photography, an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in the summer of 1951. The checklist for the exhibition lists five photographs under the title ‘ICE – SERIES OF 5.’ All of the photographs from the exhibition eventually became part of MoMA's collection except for the five ice studies.
—Courtesy of Sotheby's
Acquired from the photographer, circa 1951
By descent to the present owner
A highly influential artist and teacher, Harry Callahan produced photographs that combined elegant precision, sensuality, and restless experimentalism. He used the camera as a tool of personal expression, once proclaiming, “photography is an adventure just as life is an adventure.” He often turned his camera onto his own life, his wife serving as one of his most beloved and frequent subjects, her importance to his practice such that she was once called “an additional f-stop on his lens.” Constantly testing the limits of his medium, Callahan created photographs that surpassed factual representation, revealing the graphic beauty in the everyday. He taught alongside László Moholy-Nagy and earned the deep admiration of Edward Steichen, who included his work in several exhibitions.
American, 1912-1999, Detroit, Michigan