Through the Lens of: Hiroshi Sugimoto
Signature: Signed and dated in pencil, recto
Whether taken in Turkey, India, or Italy, the photographs of Pentti Sammallahti are imbued with the cool northern darkness of his native Finland. The artist started taking photographs at age 11, inspired by his grandmother Hildur Larsson, a Swedish-born newspaper photographer. His black-and-white images have a supernatural stillness, showing nature eroded by civilization, but without setting the players against one another and without judgment. As such, animals frequently appear in his work, especially dogs. His documentary approach has influenced a generation of photographers, and earned him the respect of Henri Cartier-Bresson, who selected Sammallahti as one of his 100 favorite photographers.
Finnish, b. 1950, Helsinki, Finland