Ernst Haas

reCREATION
April 9 - May 7, 2005
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Press Release

Bruce Silverstein Gallery is pleased to announce the exhibition Ernst Haas, reCREATION.  This show is a re-presentation of the groundbreaking, first solo color photography show held at the Museum of Modern Art, New York in 1962. On display will be the original dye transfer prints from the exhibition.

 

The legacy of Ernst Haas to 20th century color photography is immense and highly influential. This show seeks to position Haas as the rightful precursor to William Eggleston, who is often mis-labeled as the first innovator of color photography.

 

As an artist, poet and philosopher, Haas was free, undeterred by tradition and theory.   Hass began experimenting with color photography in 1949, at the infancy of the medium. Having mastered the formal structures and style of photojournalism and street photography, Haas increasingly became interested in using color film as a tool for the metaphorical language of the image.  After living through the nightmare of World War II in Europe, Haas embraced color for its pure emotional joy and physical richness, a relief from the scarred grey landscape of war.  In 1951, while on assignment for Magnum, Haas immigrated to New York City, and began photographing “Images of a Magic City”.  Two years later, Life magazine published the work as the magazine’s first color essay - an unprecedented 24 pages over two issues.

 

Haas also pioneered the use of the deliberate blur; the concept of time exposure against a continuous color background, creating a blur that can be controlled.

 

Today his innovations can be felt in contemporary art, perhaps influencing Gerhard Richter's Ferrari, 1964 and having shot the first Marlboro cigarette campaign famously appropriated by Richard Prince.