At the Crossroads of American Photography: Callahan, Siskind, Sommer

January 31 - May 13, 2009


Wall quotes for the exhibition



"I wiped out deep space and had objects which were organic in a geometrical setting. Instead of a piece of wood I felt the wood as a shape. It became transformed from an object to a force."

-Aaron Siskind, 1983


"For a long time people thought of me as a person who was making abstract photographs, being very cold-then you talk to me and all I talked about is human feeling. Of course that's what it's all about, and you could see it."

-Aaron Siskind, 1983



"Photography is an adventure just as life is an adventure. If a man wishes to express himself photographically, he must understand, surely to a certain extent, his relationship to life."-Harry Callahan, 1946

"My project could be only to photograph as I felt and desired, to regulate a pleasant form of living, to get up in the morning-free, to feel the trees, the grass, the water, sky or buildings, people-everything that affects us; and to photograph that which I saw and have always felt."

-Harry Callahan, 1957



"I believe the sign is displayed in fragments already on the scene, but the picture has to be put together. The problem of modern man isn't to escape from one ideology to another, nor to escape from one formulation to find another; our problem is to live in the presence and in the attributes of reality. Then we will be able to put the picture together."

-Frederick Sommer, 1972


"Spirit is the behavior of matter."

-Frederick Sommer, 1979


"There are many ways of seeing. And it is this difference in seeing that has to be respected."

-Frederick Sommer, 1982


(above: Frederick Sommer, Paracelsus, 1959, gelatin-silver print, 13 1/4 x 10 1/8 inches, Collection of the Center for Creative Photography, University of Arizona, Tucson, Frederick Sommer Archive, 76:032:035.© Frederick and Frances Sommer Foundation, Prescott, Arizona.)


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