In 1949, Ernst Haas (1921 – 1986) was the first photographer ever to be personally recruited for the now legendary Magnum agency by Robert Capa.
Ernst Haas was also the first photographer with a solo-exhibition dedicated to colour photography at MOMA, New York in 1962. The crowds that swamped the show were not used to colourful exhibitions and could not believe their eyes.
Edward Steichen (Director of Photographs at MOMA, 1947 - 1961) wrote : “In my estimation we have experienced an epoch in photography. Here is a free spirit, untrammelled by tradition and theory, who has gone out and found beauty unparalleled in photography”.
Ernst Haas has been navigating the borders between painting and photography all his life, both for articles and documentaries, using photographic effects such as deep focus and over exposure. He knew no boundaries when it came to subjects: people, shop windows, street shots . . . and would never cease to work. His life work is made up of approximately 200,000 photographs, many of which were never made available to the public – until now.
By the end of the 1950s, Ernst Haas was fed up with taking pictures. In 1961, he said: “Bored with obvious reality, I find my fascination in transforming it into a subjective point of view. Without touching my subject I want to come to the moment when, through pure concentration of seeing, the composed picture becomes more made than taken. Without a descriptive caption to justify its existence, it will speak for itself – less descriptive, more creative; less informative, more suggestive – less prose, more poetry.”
Color Correction by Ernst Haas
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