Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Harry Callahan

Harry Callahan, "Chicago", c. 1950. Museum of Modern Art.

Looking for another photographer's work in the MoMA database, I just stumbled upon this image.
And I instantly fell in love.

It has got such intensity and near symmetrical beauty that I felt physically pulled towards it.

There is the white snow, - horizontal, and the black trunks, - vertical. Such powerful contrasts that would have been too harsh if it weren't for the calm grey water and sky that flow in between. The water and the sky form an even expanse, with a barely discernable horizon. But there, over to the right, is a glimpse of light.

Six tree trunks are rooted in the white snow, rhythmically organized in pairs. The pair to the left and the pair to the right seem well established, whereas those two trunks in the middle are a little more hesitant. The branches, though, are not shy. They blend together and form a web that almost entirely covers the sky.

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