Harry CALLAHAN, Bob Fine, 1952 Enlarge 1 /1


United States of America 1912 – 1999

Bob Fine, 1952 1952 Materials & Technique: photographs, gelatin silver photograph

Dimensions: image 25.4 h x 20.2 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1978
Accession No: NGA 78.1350

The extremes of Callahan’s broad carer are in some ways marked at one end by his incredibly intimate photographs of his wife Eleanor, and at the other by his abstracted views of skyscrapers and canyon-like streets in Detroit, Chicago and New York. Shot with his 8 x 10-inch view camera, Callahan’s highly formal views of the built environment often engaged dramatic points of view and rich, almost overwhelming stretches of blackness. These images express Callahan’s belief that photography should be neither sentimental nor journalistic: with their dramatic tonal contrasts and overwhelmed, isolated pedestrians, Callahan’s postwar city is a place of alienation and loneliness.

Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra