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