Photo Synthesis

Photography, like any other art form, has its own language. It’s a language that in recent years has been codified and restructured and recast through digitization. But even this radical reinvention pales in comparison to the one that photographer Harry Callahan and two of his artist pals launched a half-century ago.

“Exchanging Ideas: Photography, Abstraction, and Metaphor at Mid-Century” at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art examines the way in which Callahan, Aaron Siskind, and Frederick Sommer conceived a new photographic language of abstraction and metaphor. Based in their own deep knowledge of other fine-art movements and artists, the trio’s groundbreaking teaching methods and techniques influenced a generation of photographic art. The symposium explores the artists’ lives and work via photographs, music, audio recordings, lectures, and personal anecdotes. Among the speakers is photographer Joseph Sterling, a student of Callahan, Siskind, and Sommer.
Fri., May 8, 7 p.m.; Sat., May 9, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., 2009

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Robrt L. Pela has been a weekly contributor to Phoenix New Times since 1991, primarily as a cultural critic. His radio essays air on National Public Radio affiliate KJZZ's Morning Edition.
Contact: Robrt L. Pela