Helsinki, Finland (Embrace)
1983
Gelatin Silver Print

Pentti Sammallahti

December 7, 2013 – March 1, 2014

Peter Fetterman Gallery is pleased to present a joint exhibition by acclaimed photographers Michael Kenna and Pentti Sammallahti. Representing two of the leading international artists working in the traditional black and white photographic medium, showcasing over forty seminal works by each artist spanning their prolific careers. The exhibition will be the first for Michael Kenna at Peter Fetterman Gallery, and the second for Pentti Sammallahti. An opening reception and book-signing with artist Michael Kenna will be held Saturday, December 7th from 4-7pm.

Pentti Sammallahti (Finland, b. 1950) has been photographing the world around him with a poetic eye since the age of eleven. At the age of nine he visited "The Family of Man" exhibition at Helsinki Art Hall, confirming at a young age his photographic path in life. Featured in solo exhibitions by the age of 21, Sammallahti continued to exhibit and teach at the Helsinki University of Art and Design until receiving the Finnish State's 15-year artist grant in 1991. In addition to his most celebrated photographs, the masterful prints on view include early work and previously un-exhibited images from the 2012 monograph Here Far Away (Dewi Lewis) which has garnered wide international acclaim in photographic publishing.

Sammallahti's work is heavily grounded in the cold gray climate of the far northern hemisphere, even claiming "the worse the weather, the better the photograph." His numerous comedic images of animals are given serious weight by the impeccable attention to composition and interplay of environment and subject often compared to American photographer Elliott Erwitt with the decisive timing of Henri Cartier-Bresson. However, the small scale of Sammallahti's silver prints and their luscious gray tones create drama and mystery akin to fairy tales of some distant land. Following dozens of major exhibitions across Europe, Sammallahti is recognized as the leading figure among a widely renowned group of Finnish photographers though has only recently gained significant recognition in the United States. In 2010, Sammallahti's first major retrospective was held at the Finnish Museum of Photography in Helsinki where he continues to live and work.

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Pentti Sammallahti
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