Pentti Sammallahti: Here Far Away

Pentti Sammallahti was born in 1950 in Helsinki, Finland. Growing up, he was surrounded by the works of his grandmother, Hildur Larsson (1882-1952), a Swedish-born photographer, who worked for the Helsinki newspaper Kaiku in the early 1900s.

After visiting “The Family of Man” exhibition at Helsinki Art Hall (1961) Pentti Sammallahti made his first photographs at age eleven. Pentti joined the Helsinki Camera Club in 1964. His first solo exhibition was in 1971.

Pentti Sammallahti has traveled widely as a photographer, from his native Scandinavia, across the Soviet Republics through Siberia, to Japan, India, Nepal, Morocco, Turkey, across Europe and Great Britain, and even to South Africa. Sammallahti’s travels and interest in fine printing and lithography has led him to publish numerous portfolios of which the largest and most well known is “The Russian Way” (1996).

As a benchmark figure in contemporary Finnish photography, his work has a supernatural sense of a moment in time with the sensitivity and beauty of the world displayed through its animalistic existence. His particular use of dogs, which reflects the human existential experience, shows the shared nature of the earth with a gentle humor and fleeting attitude.

Sammallahti describes himself as a wanderer who likes the nature of the great north, the silence, the cold, and the sea. He likes the people and the animals of far off places and he records the relationships between them and their environment.

Pentti Sammallahti’s photographs are in many international museum collections, including the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany; Moderna Museet / Fotografiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; and The Finnish State Collections and the Photographic Museum of Finland.

Nailya Alexander Gallery is pleased to announce Here Far Away, an exhibition by renowned Finnish photographer Pentti Sammallahti (b. 1950), celebrating his first major monograph in six languages (French, German, Italian, Spanish, English and Finnish) and covering work from 1964 to 2011.

The English first edition, published by Dewi Lewis (UK), is already out of print. The exhibition, open now, will run through April 27, 2013.

Although the exhibition presents both iconic and lesser known gelatin silver and archival pigment prints made in different periods and sizes, it is not a retrospective per se; instead, it is a reflection of “the restless Finnish photographer’s craftsmanship, who finds the same odd, melancholic poetry in locations across the globe,” as Sean O’Hagan comments in his Guardian review. “Looking at the photograph, you feel on the threshold of another, more mysterious world that is indeed here and far away.”

Last summer, the artist received rave reviews by the European press for his retrospective at the Arles International Festival, including Francis Hodgson of the Financial Times statement that “his original prints make up the stand-out exhibition among the 50-plus this year.”

For more information about the artist or the exhibition, please visit: http://nailyaalexandergallery.com/artist/pentti-sammallahti

Source: Nailya Alexander Gallery

 

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