Thursday, April 7, 2011

Pentti Sammallahti


Pentti Sammallahti, Ristasaari, Finland, 1974

Pentti Sammallahti, Helsinki, Finland, 2002

Pentti Sammallahti, Swayambhunath, Nepal, 1994

Pentti Sammallahti, Helsinki, Finland, 1984

Pentti Sammallahti, Islanti, Iceland, 1980

Pentti Sammallahti, Cilento, Italy, 2000

Pentti Sammallahti, Varanasi, India, 1999

Pentti Sammallahti, Varanasi, India, 1999

Pentti Sammallahti, Lianwuno, Wales, 1995

Pentti Sammallahti, Kathmandu, Nepal, 1994

Pentti Sammallahti, Venice, Itay, 2000

Pentti Sammallahti, Varanasi, India, 1999

Pentti Sammallahti, Estonia, 2004

Pentti Sammallahti, Solovki, White Sea, Russia, 1992

Pentti Sammallahti, Etr, Bulgaria, 2003

Pentti Sammallahti, Swayambhunath, Nepal, 1994

Pentti Sammaliahti, Varanasi, India, 1999 cow

Pentti Sammallahti, Helsinki, Finland, 1973

Pentti Sammallahti, Solovki, White Sea, Russia, 1992



Pentti Sammallahti was born in 1950 in Helsinki, Finland.  He began photographing at 11 and by 1971 began to exhibit extensively in Finland and throughout the world. Sammallahti has travelled 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.” 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 of those people and their environment.  Like people, animals wander into his photographs and then disappear as naturally as they appear.

As a master craftsman, he meticulously tones his prints, which in turn helps to produce the images and display the brief moments in time.   As a passionate seeker of the perfect mechanical printing method, his own innovative printing techniques and reintroduction of the portfolio form have re-awakened broader interest in published photographic art.  Influenced by the idea of ‘artist books’ – individual works in which the artist is responsible for the whole: photography, the making of prints, layout, design and typography, reproduction and often the actual printing process either with the offset or the gravure method. His work is represented in many international collections, a large survey of his work will be the subject of a Europe-wide traveling exhibition in 2011.

Sammallahti taught at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki for 17 Years, retiring when he received a 20-year grant (1991-2011) from the Finnish government, an unusually long endowment, which is no longer awarded.  Sammallahti was honored to be included among the 100 favorite photographs in the personal collection of Henri Cartier-Bresson, which was the inaugural exhibition for the Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson in 2003.  His work has been exhibited world wide, and was given an extensive festival in Arles, France.  As a teacher, he has an enormous influence on a whole generation of documentary photographers in Finland.  Since 1979, Pentti Sammallahti has published thirteen books and portfolios and has received awards such as the Samuli Paulaharju Prize of the Finnish Literature Society, State Prizes for Photography, Uusimaa Province Art Prize, Daniel Nyblin Prize, and the Finnish Critics Association Annual.



images found here; biography found here



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24 comments:

Caroline said...

I am seriously blown away...and sitting here in awe...

Dancing Branflake said...

These are gorgeous. Stunning. His composition and symmetry and imagination is incredible.

Lara said...

Love! He caught such unique moments, loving the compositions!I hadn't seen any of these photos before, thanks for sharing!

Jen said...

Oh wow, these are gorgeous!! I'm loving all the pics of the cows!

xo

Kimbirdy said...

truly amazing. i love the art you post here. ...and by "art," i don't mean the situation's workout video.

Mandy said...

So beautiful.

(And is that cow GIANT or is that just a really small dog?)

Kristine said...

Love love love.

Claire Kiefer said...

These are really fascinating. And have that little edge of eerie that you appreciate in art. :)

Kitty Stampede said...

DAMMIT WOMAN, these are INCREDIBLE! I want like every single one. That frog one sure started it off with a bang..he toadally drew me in. :D
the composition is so fahlipping perfect. I have to go look at them all again. I want!!!!

p.s.- the timing of the bird taking off with the two dogs...WOW. such a great shot.

mermaid gallery said...

sparse and gentle and odd..Scandinavian atmosphere for sure...fabulous! suits the b and w so well.....

PorkStar said...

Awesome images !!!

blueviolet said...

They have such an eerie otherworldly quality to them.

Diana said...

I love them. So dark and beautiful!!

Stacy Conner said...

LOVE! Just love them all.

Phoenix said...

These are mind-blowingly amazing. The stories they tell....wow. Just, wow.

TK Kerouac said...

love it!
He's definately has a soft spot for dogs!

itsCatherine said...

Just this Tuesday I went to a lecture by Sam Abell who was a photographer for NatGeo ante de digital photography. It was amazing and one of the first things he said was that black and white photography is true photography.

Marisa said...

Looovveeeee.....all the puppies! Haha. But really those are great photos. Reminds me of Call of the Wild for some reason...

Haute World said...

Very impressive. I like the way he photographs animals and seems to 'place' the dogs in different settings. The one with the dog on the cow(?) is pretty extraordinary...

tulpen said...

the dog on the cow was my favorite.

I love cows. Love dogs a bit less, but still, a lovely image.

adrienzgirl said...

Magical....as a amateur photographer who loves wildlife photography....these are absolutely amazing. REALLY!

Char said...

an amazing artist and many shots that i wish i had taken

vint junky said...

Magnificent! What an incredible eye for detail
x

Down and Out Chic said...

wow, amazing. i especially like the ones where the animals are interacting with each other (or sleeping on each other).