Harry Callahan: Chicago | Detroit

13th Mar 2019 - 6th Apr 2019


13 March – 6 April 2019

Huxley-Parlour gallery are pleased to host an exhibition of photographs by American master Harry Callahan (1912 – 1996).

Harry Callahan’s singular aesthetic and drive to experimentation has had a lasting impact on post-war photography. His oeuvre, incorporating abstraction, landscape and portraiture, was a deeply personal response to his own life; he photographed his wife and daughter and the streets, scenes and buildings of the cities he called home.

The exhibition will focus on works from the first two decades of his career, from the early 1940s until the late 1950s, when the photographer was based in Chicago. Having met László Moholy-Nagy in 1946, Callahan joined the faculty of the New Bauhaus that Moholy-Nagy had established in Chicago. Callahan’s photographs from the 1940s share the principles of Bauhaus design and experimentation. Much of his work from this period explores total abstraction and the technicalities of the photographic medium, examples in the exhibition show Callahan using double and triple exposures, blurs, extreme contrasts and collage. As well as abstraction, Callahan meticulously and repeatedly photographed his wife, Eleanor, his daughter Barbara, and the city of Chicago. The exhibition includes examples of these works, exploring Callahan’s relationship to formalism, portraiture and documentary photography.

Since his first solo exhibition in 1947, Callahan’s work has been the subject of over sixty exhibitions around the world, including retrospectives at Tate Modern, London, and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. In 1955, Edward Steichen included Callahan’s work in the Museum of Modern Art’s important touring exhibition, The Family of Man. He was also the first photographer chosen to represent the United States at the Venice Biennale in 1978. His work is held in the permanent collections of many institutions including the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C., the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam and the Centre Pompidou, Paris.


Giles Huxley-Parlour introduces Harry Callahan: Chicago | Detroit