Weed Against Sky

Harry Callahan (American, 1912 - 99)

1948. Oil on canvas, 9 7/8 x 7 7/8". 2000.009

A bold innovator and respected teacher, Harry Callahan believed that photography had the power not only to record the world but also to construct other realities. He found great meaning in his highly personal responses and relationships to the subjects he photographed. This image is one of a series of nature studies he began in the late 1940s. Here, he has used high-contrast printing to eliminate middle tones, and thus some details, in order to emphasize the starkly elegant calligraphy of the weed.

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