Spanning over nine countries from 1973 to 2007, Pentti Sammallahti’s work is an outstanding example of the beauty of black and white photography. His solo exhibition Here, Far Away at The Photographers’ Gallery opens 10 October and runs until 5 January. Showcasing over 20 images, the presentation will demonstrate the brilliance of Sammallathi’s landscape and figurative works.
The photographer made his first set of images at the age of 11 and had his first solo exhibition in 1971 at the age of 21. Born in 1950 in Helsinki, Finland, Sammallahti has travelled extensively throughout his life and favours remote and isolated landscapes as the context for his work. Only occasionally do figures or animals interrupt the otherwise empty scenes. The photographs are captured with humour and warmth, and depict a bigger universal narrative.
The artist in admired for his innovative darkroom techniques and he carefully produces prints full of subtle tonal and textural variations. Drawing on the inspiration of poetry and music, Sammallahti’s atmospheric photographs are often referred to as lyrical compositions. The title, Here, Far Away, is shared by the artist’s recent retrospectives and accompanying publications, and refers to the very nature of photographs as documents. Through these photographer and viewer meet at an intersection of the past and the present, where the image was first captured and where it is now perceived.
Pentti Sammallahti: Here, Far Away, 10 October – 5 January, The Photographer’s Gallery, 16 – 18 Ramillies St, London W1F 7LW.
1. Pentti Sammallahti, Solovki, White Sea, Russia, 1992.
2. Pentti Sammallahti, Lake Numakawa, Japan, 2005.