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Harry Callahan

September 14–November 24, 1996

Born in 1912, Harry Callahan has for more than fifty years used his photography to understand and reveal his relationship to the world around him. This exhibition of Callahan's expressive, autobiographical photographs charts his artistic development from its genesis in Detroit in the early 1940s and its flowering in Chicago in the late 1940s and 1950s to its maturation in Providence and Atlanta, where he now lives. As his photographs demonstrate, Callahan has repeatedly returned to the same subjects--his family, especially his wife Eleanor, and the natural and urban landscapes that surround him--in order to create a body of work that is an organic whole and tells the story of his life through his art. At the same time, the exhibition reveals his continuous quest to explore these subjects in new ways, often through daringly abstract compositions as well as innovative techniques such as multiple exposures, extreme contrast, camera movement, and prolonged shutter speeds. His experimental approach and his insistent need to elucidate his life through photography led Callahan to create an art of ever greater clarity, intensity, and refinement.


National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Philadelphia Museum of Art
High Museum of Art, Atlanta
Detroit Institute of Arts
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago

Main Building


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