The timeless style of Harry Callahan’s street photography captured in new book and exhibition

Callahan’s wide photographic experimentation is celebrated in an exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery and a new book, by Black Dog Publishing.

While not the best known of the street photographers to emerge out of the US in the mid-20th century, Harry Callahan’s work is nonetheless hugely influential, particularly in his exploration of different photographic styles, from straight-forward documentation of street scenes to abstract experiments with multiple exposures.

These are all captured in the exhibition currently on show at Vancouver Art Gallery (whose collection includes almost 600 photographs by Callahan across the full chronology of his career) and an accompanying book, which also features extensive essays on Callahan’s approach. Included in both book and exhibition are images shot by Callahan on streets in Chicago, New York, Atlanta, Cairo, Mexico, Portugal, and Wales: a selection is shown below.

Top: Providence, 1985, dye transfer print; Above: New York, 1977, dye transfer print. All images Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Gift of The Rossy Family Foundation; © The Estate of Harry Callahan, Courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York
Top: Providence, 1985, dye transfer print; Above: New York, 1977, dye transfer print. All images Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Gift of The Rossy Family Foundation; © The Estate of Harry Callahan, Courtesy Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York
Chicago, 1950, silver gelatin print
Chicago, 1950, silver gelatin print
Chicago, 1950, silver gelatin print
Chicago, 1950, silver gelatin print
Detroit, Michigan, 1941, silver gelatin print
Detroit, Michigan, 1941, silver gelatin print
Egypt, 1978, dye transfer print
Egypt, 1978, dye transfer print
Chicago, 1961, silver gelatin print
Chicago, 1961, silver gelatin print
Cover of Harry Callahan: The Street, published by Black Dog
Cover of Harry Callahan: The Street, published by Black Dog

Harry Callahan: The Street is on show at Vancouver Art Gallery until September 5, vanartgallery.bc.ca; Black Dog Publishing’s accompanying book is available priced £29.95, blackdogonline.com

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