Pentti Sammallahti

July 2, 2014 - August 3, 2014

Swayambhunath, Nepal
1994
gelatin silver print
5 1/4" x 3 7/8"

image © Pentti Sammallahti, courtesy of Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York
$800

Varanasi, India
1999
gelatin silver print
5 3/4" x 4 1/4"

image © Pentti Sammallahti, courtesy of Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York
$800

Houston, Texas, USA
1998
gelatin silver print
4 1/4" x 5 1/2"

image © Pentti Sammallahti, courtesy of Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York
$800

Helsinki, Finland
1999
gelatin silver print
5" x 4"

image © Pentti Sammallahti, courtesy of Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York
$800

Lviv, Ukraine
2007
gelatin silver print
5 3/4" x 7 3/4"

image © Pentti Sammallahti, courtesy of Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York
$1,100

Pentti Sammallahti

Selected Works

Renowned Finnish artist Pentti Sammallahti has travelled widely, photographing throughout his native Scandinavia, the former Soviet Republics, Japan, India, Nepal, Morocco, Turkey, Europe, Great Britain, and South Africa. This exhibition features a selection of exquisite original black-and-white prints from the artist’s vast body of work. In each image, Sammallahti captures decisive moments of beauty, wonder, and humor present in the world around him. His focus on animals—particularly dogs—adds a joyful playfulness to many scenes, as well as a sense of human connectedness to the natural world and our animal counterparts. In addition to being an avid traveler, Sammallahti is also a dedicated photographic printmaker. He meticulously crafts his own gelatin-silver works while experimenting with various printing techniques and hand-toning. Although often relatively small in comparison to many other contemporary photographs, his choice of size allows for an intimate viewing experience, as one must look closely to fully appreciate Sammallahti’s enchanted world.

Pentti Sammallahti was born in 1950 in Helsinki, Finland. Growing up, he was surrounded by the works of his grandmother, Hildur Larsson, a Swedish-born photographer, who worked for the Helsinki newspaper Kaiku in the early 1900s. After visiting Edward Steichen’s The Family of Man exhibition at Helsinki Art Hall in 1961, Sammallahti made his first photographs at age eleven and had his first solo show in 1971. Sammallahti taught at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki until 199 when he received a remarkable fifteen-year grant from the Finnish government and retired from his teaching position. In 2001 the Helsinki University of Art and Design awarded Pentti Sammallahti the title of Honorary Doctorate in Art. Sammallahti’s recent solo exhibitions include Paris’ Mois de la Photographie in 1996, Houston Fotofest, Texas in 1999, the International Photography Festival in Arles in 2005, and a major retrospective at Recontres d’Arles in 2012 accompanied by the release of his first retrospective monograph, Here Far Away, published in six languages. Sammallahti’s work can be found in the collections of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg; Moderna Museet / Fotografiska Museet, Stockholm; and The Finnish State Collections and the Photographic Museum of Finland. Blue Sky previously exhibited Sammallahti’s work in 1999.

This exhibition is generously supported by Finlandia Foundation National, Finlandia Foundation Columbia-Pacific Chapter, and the Scandinavian Heritage Foundation.