Realms of Color: The Creation by Ernst Haas

Fujifilm Square

poster for Realms of Color: The Creation by Ernst Haas
[Image: Volcano, Surtsey, Iceland, 1965 From The Creation Photo by Ernst Haas/Getty Images]

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Described as “a magician with color,” the photographer Ernst Haas pioneered color photography as a means of expression in the 1950s. Born in 1921 in Vienna, Haas photographed Austrian prisoners of war returning home in 1947. These photographs caught the eye of Robert Capa who invited Haas to join Magnum Photos, the cooperative of photographers, which had been formed not long before. In the early days, Haas worked with black and white documentary photography, but in 1949, he started to experiment with the relatively newly developed color film, shooting a series of color photographs in New York. At the time, the sensitivity of color film was extremely low and it lacked freedom of expression, but Haas developed ingenious techniques to take advantage of its characteristics. When his first color photo essay was featured in Life magazine in 1953, photographers around the world were impressed and encouraged by the otherworldly vibrancy of the colors in his photographs. Subsequently, Haas published a succession of creative and richly poetic works on themes ranging from the streets of Venice to bullfighting in Spain. In 1962, Ernst Haas became the first photographer to mount a solo exhibition of color photographs at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The present exhibition features twenty-one valuable dye transfer prints* of images specially selected from The Creation, Ernst Haas’s masterpiece, published as a photographic book in 1971. The theme for The Creation is the Christian story of the creation of heaven and earth described at the start of the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament.

A beautiful and dynamic rhapsody on the grand story—from the birth of the planet, the arrival of the four seasons, and the emergence of organic life—this famous work has made a significant mark on the history of photography. Expressed in colors that are both vivid and delicate, the photographs superimpose the majestic world of the creation of heaven and earth on natural forms, giving us a sense of Haas’s unique ideas and perspectives. These works explore the true meaning of color photography—something we have come to take for granted. This is definitely the realm of color—a realm that has not faded in the twenty-first century and one that is unlikely to fade in the future.



from March 01, 2019 to May 31, 2019


Ernst Haas



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