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Nice, France

Nice, France, 1997

Gelatin silver print

Image: 6 3/4 x 8 3/8 in. (17.1 x 21.3 cm)
Paper: 8 x 9 7/8 in. (20.3 x 25.1 cm)

Signed and dated in pencil on recto

dog in window, greece

Pentti Sammallahti (b. 1950, Helsinki)
Hydra, Greece (dog in window), 1975
Gelatin silver print
Paper 10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm)

cats and dried fish, iceland

Pentti Sammallahti (b. 1950, Helsinki)
Islanti, Iceland (cats and dried fish), 1980
Gelatin silver print
Image 3 9/16 x 4 3/4 in. (9.1 x 12.1 cm)
Paper 4 3/4 x 6 in. (12.1 x 15.2 cm)

Gotland, Sweden

Gotland, Sweden (windmill), 1997

Gelatin silver print

Image: 6 1/2 x 6 3/8 in. (16.5 x 16.2 cm)
Paper: 10 x 7 7/8 in. (25.4 x 20 cm)

Iceland (Waterfall), 1980, Gelatin silver print

Iceland (Waterfall), 1980

Gelatin silver print

Image: 5 7/8 x 10 in. (14.9 x 25.4 cm)
Paper: 8 x 12 in. (20.3 x 30.5 cm)

Signed and dated in pencil on recto

Humlebaek, Denmark, 1999

Humlebaek, Denmark, 1999
Gelatin silver print

Signed and dated in pencil on recto
Image: 4 7/8 x 3 13/16 in. (12.4 x 9.7 cm)
Paper: 7 x 5 in. (17.8 x 12.7 cm)

 

Image: 7 7/8 x 5 3/4 in. (20 x 14.6 cm)
Paper: 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm)

Humlebaek, Denmark

Humlebaek, Denmark (seagull), 1999

Gelatin silver print

Image: 5 5/16 x 3 9/16 in. (13.5 x 9.1 cm)
Paper: 7 x 4 3/4 in. (17.8 x 12.1 cm)

Ryssmasterna, Sweden, 2012, Gelatin silver print

Ryssmasterna, Sweden, 2012

Gelatin silver print

Image: 5 1/2 x 10 1/4 in. (14.0 x 26.0 cm)
Paper: 7 7/8 x 11 3/4 in. (20 x 29.8 cm)

Signed and dated in pencil on recto

Folegandros

Folegandros, Greece (cats on rocks), 2010
Gelatin silver print

Image: 4 5/8 x 4 5/8 in. (11.8 x 11.8 cm)
Paper: 8 x 6 in. (20.3 x 15.2 cm)

Signed and dated in pencil on recto

Pentti Sammallahti (b. 1950, Helsinki)

Pentti Sammallahti (b. 1950, Helsinki)
The Balearics, Spain, 2014
Gelatin silver print
Image 7 1/2 x 6 1/2 in. (19.1 x 16.5 cm)
Paper 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm)

Nice, France

Nice, France, 1997

Gelatin silver print

Image: 5 1/4 x 10 in. (13.4 x 25.4 cm)

Signed and dated in pencil on recto

Minorca, Spain (wave crashing), 2014Gelatin silver printImage: 7 3/4 x 6 1/4 in. (19.7 x 15.9 cm)Paper: 10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm)Signed and dated on rectoTitled and dated on verso

Minorca, Spain (wave crashing), 2014
Gelatin silver print
Image: 7 3/4 x 6 1/4 in. (19.7 x 15.9 cm)
Paper: 10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm)
Signed and dated on recto
Titled and dated on verso

Leon, Spain

Leon, Spain (trees), 2006
Gelatin silver print

Signed and dated by the artist

Image: 4 5/8 x 5 13/16 in. (11.8 x 14.8 cm)

Image: 7 3/4 x 5 3/4 in. (19.7 x 14.6 cm)

Cilento

Cilento, Italy, 1999

Archival Pigment Print

Signed and dated in pencil on recto

Image: 14 5/8 x 34 5/8 in. (37.2 x 88.0)
Paper: 17 1/8 x 37 7/8 in. (43.5 x 96.2 cm)

 

Gelatin silver print

Signed and dated in pencil on recto

Image: 2 13/16 x 6 13/16 in. ( 7.1 x 17.3 cm)
Paper: 5 x 8 in. (12.7 x 20.3 cm) 

Cilento, Italy (white horse), 2000, Toned gelatin silver print

Cilento, Italy (white horse), 2000

Toned gelatin silver print

Image: 5 7/8 x 4 7/16 in. (14.9 x 11.3 cm) 
Paper: 8 x 6 in. (20.3 x 15.2 cm)

Signed and dated in pencil on recto

Cilento, Italy

Cilento, Italy (trees), 1999

Gelatin silver print

Image: 5 1/2 x 13 3/4 in. (13.9 x 34.9 cm)
Paper: 8 3/4 x 15 3/4 in. (22.2 x 40.0 cm)

Signed and dated in pencil on recto

Paris, France

Paris, France, 2011

Gelatin silver print

Image: 9 5/8 x 6 3/4 in. (24.5 x 17.1 cm)
Paper: 11 1/2 x 9 1/2 in. (29.2 x 24.1 cm)

Signed and dated in pencil on recto

Bavaria, Germany

Bavaria, Germany, 1969
Gelatin silver print
Image: 6 x 6 1/8 in. (15.2 x 15.6 cm)

Paper: 9 7/8 x 8 in. (25.1 x 20.3 cm)

Signed and dated in pencil on recto

Sikinos, Greece

Sikinos, Greece, 2010

Gelatin silver print

Image: 6 1/8 x 7 7/16 in. (15.6 x 18.9 cm)
Paper: 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm)

Signed and dated in pencil on recto

Titled and dated in pencil on verso

Stio, Italy

Stio, Italy, 1999

Gelatin silver print

Image: 4 1/2 x 4 9/16 in. (11.4 x 11.6 cm)
Paper: 8 x 6 in. (20.3 x 15.2 cm)

Signed and dated in pencil on recto

Titled and dated in pencil on verso

Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy, 2000

Gelatin silver print

Image: 4 x 5 1/2 in. (10.2 x 14 cm)
Paper: 6 x 8 in. (15.2 x 20.3 cm)

Signed and dated in pencil on recto

Titled and dated in pencil on verso

Verona, Italy

Verona, Italy, 2001

Gelatin silver print

Image: 5 7/8 x 4 9 1/6 in. (14.9 x 11.6 cm)
Paper: 8 x 6 in. (20.3 x 15.2 cm)

Signed and dated in pencil on recto

Titled and dated in pencil on verso

Paris, France

Paris, France, 2005

Gelatin silver print

Image: 6 7/16 x 6 9/16 in. (16.4 x 16.7 cm)
Paper: 10 x 8 in. (25.4 x 20.3 cm)

Signed and dated in pencil on recto

Fountain, Paris

Fountain, Paris, 2011
Gelatin silver print
4 1/16 x 6 3/16 in. (10.3 x 15.7 cm)
Signed and dated in pencil on recto

dog and mobile

Pentti Sammallahti (b. 1950, Helsinki)
Basel, Switzerland (dog and sculpture), 2006
Gelatin silver print
6 x 4 3/4 in. (15.2 x 12.1 cm)

Houston, Texas (two birds), 1998, Gelatin silver print

Houston, Texas (two birds), 1998

Gelatin silver print

Image: 4 3/8 x 5 1/4 in. (11.1 x 13.3 cm)
Paper: 6 x 8 in. (15.2 x 20.3 cm)

Signed and dated in pencil on recto

dog and rocket

Pentti Sammallahti (b. 1950, Helsinki)
Katonah, New York (dog and rocket), 2000
Gelatin silver print
8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm)

Biography

Pentti Sammallahti was born on 29 April 1950 in Helsinki, Finland. Growing up, he was surrounded by the works of his grandmother, Hildur Larsson (1882-1952), a Swedish-born photographer, who worked for the Helsinki newspaper Kaiku in the early 1900s. After visiting the exhibition The Family of Man at the Helsinki Art Hall (1961) Sammallahti made his first photographs at age eleven. Pentti joined the Helsinki Camera Club in 1964. His first solo exhibition was in 1971.

Sammallahti has travelled widely as a photographer, from his native Scandinavia, across the Soviet Republics through Siberia, to Japan, India, Nepal, Morocco, Turkey, across Europe and Great Britain, and even to South Africa.  Sammallahti’s travels and interest in fine printing and lithography has led him to publish numerous portfolios of which the largest and most well known is The Russian Way (1996).  As a benchmark figure in contemporary Finnish photography, his work has a supernatural sense of a moment in time with the sensitivity and beauty of the world displayed through its animalistic existence. His particular use of dogs, which reflects the human existential experience, shows the shared nature of the earth with a gentle humor and fleeting attitude. Sammallahti describes himself as a wanderer who likes the nature of the great north, the silence, the cold, and the sea. He likes the people and the animals of far off places and he records the relationships between them and their environment. 

As a master craftsman, he meticulously tones his prints, which come in various formats, from 4 by 5 inches in image size to panoramas of 6 by 14 inches. In 2010 for his retrospective exhibition in Helsinki he created large format pigment prints, about 9 by 21 inches and 15 by 35.5 inches in size. As a passionate seeker of the perfect mechanical printing method, his own innovative printing techniques and reintroduction of the portfolio form have re-awakened broader interest in published photographic art. Influenced by the idea of ‘artist books’ – individual works in which the artist is responsible for the whole: photography, the making of prints, layout, design and typography, reproduction and often the actual printing process either with the offset or the gravure method. Since 1979, Pentti Sammallahti has published thirteen books and portfolios and has received awards such as the Samuli Paulaharju Prize of the Finnish Literature Society, State Prizes for Photography, Uusimaa Province Art Prize, Daniel Nyblin Prize, and the Finnish Critics Association Annual.

From 1974 to 1991 Sammallahti taught at the University of Art and Design in Helsinki, retiring when he received a 15-year grant from the Finnish government, an unusually long endowment, which is no longer awarded. Both as a photographer and a teacher, he has had an enormous influence on a whole generation of documentary photographers in Scandinavia.

Sammallahti had a solo exhibition at Paris' Mois de la Photographie in 1996 and another in 1998 at Houston Fotofest, Texas.  In 2001 the Helsinki University of Art and Design awarded Pentti Sammallahti the title of Honorary Doctorate in Art.  In 2004, the famous French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson ranked Sammallahti among his 100 favorite photographers for his Foundation's inaugural exhibition in Paris. The French Photo Poche book series published his book edited by Robert Delpire in 2005, and the same year, Sammallahti had a personal exhibition at the International Photography Festival in Arles. His second exhibition at Recontres d'Arles was a major retrospective in 2012 accompanied by the release of the first retrospective monograph Here Far Away, published in six languages (German, French, English, Italian, Spanish, and Finnish). 

Among museum collections Sammallahti’s work can be found at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA; Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France; Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany; Moderna Museet / Fotografiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden; and The Finnish State Collections and the Photographic Museum of Finland.

Selected solo exhibitions

2020

Pentti Sammallahti: Miniatures, Musée de la Photographie Charles Nègre - Nice, France
Distant Land: Pentti Sammallahti, Fotografiska, Stockholm, Sweden
Beyond The Wind - Pentti Sammallahti, Gallery K.O.N.G., Seoul, South Korea

2019
Pentti Sammallahti's Birds, Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York, NY, USA

2017
Warm Regards, Pentti Sammallahti, photo-eye Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, USA

2016
When frost was spectre-grey, The Photographers' Gallery, London, England

2012
Here Far Away, Camera Obscura Gallery, Paris, France
Here Far Away, photo-eye Gallery, Santa Fe, NM, USA
Pentti Sammallahti, Retrospective, Recontres d'Arles, France

2010
Retrospective at the Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland
Pentti Sammallahti: Images rares ou recentes, Box Galerie, Brussels, Belgium

2007
Pentti Sammallahti, Candace Dwan Gallery, New York, NY, USA

2005
Pentti Sammallahti, solo exhibition at Arles International Photography Festival, France

2004
Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation's opening exhibition, Paris, France

1998
Pennti Sammallahti, Houston FotoFest, Houston, TX, USA

1996
Solo exhibition, Mois de la Photographie, Paris France

1976
Uusia sarjoja exhibition at the Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland

1974
Mullasta taivaalle exhibition at the Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki, Finland