Detroit

Detroit

1941

Harry Callahan

(American, 1912-1999)

Gelatin silver print

Image: 17.3 x 23.6 cm (6 13/16 x 9 5/16 in.); Paper: 20.2 x 25.2 cm (7 15/16 x 9 15/16 in.); Matted: 40.6 x 50.8 cm (16 x 20 in.)

In memory of Sol Bauer 1984.20

Description

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Callahan became interested in photography in the late 1930s while working as an accountant at the Chrysler Corporation. Reminiscing during an interview in 1983, he remarked that a workshop with Ansel Adams in 1941 convinced him that "you didn't have to go the Taj Mahal to take pictures." Exploring the beauty in the world around him, his subject matter ranged from an ongoing series of his wife, Eleanor, to street scenes, landscapes, beaches, and nature studies. In this close-up composition, dark vertical reeds are seen against shimmering, gray water. The wayward curves and quivering reflections make it difficult to tell where the blades of grass begin and end. Callahan captured a sense of texture, atmosphere, and movement, demonstrating the sensitive vision that made him one of the most influential photographers and teachers of the 20th century.

See also
Department: 
Photography
Type of artwork: 
Photograph

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