Image of a Magic City

Haas_2009__002Ernst Haas, [Central Park, New York City], 1952

“A final glow of sun illumines the tower of the Hotel Pierre and sends a radiant image across the lake in Central Park” is the caption of Ernst Haas’ image in the September 14, 1953 issue of Life Magazine. The image is one in a series of twenty-four photographs that was part of the first color essay published by Life. The essay, “Images of a Magic City,” reflects Haas’ poetic use of color in his work. During the 1950s and 1960s he continued to develop an aesthetic language in which color became an integral part of his photographic composition. In Haas’ exhibition of 1962 at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, John Szarkowski said: “The color in color photography has often seemed an irrelevant decorative screen between the viewer and the fact of the picture. Ernst Haas has resolved this conflict by making the color sensation itself the subject matter of his world. No photographer has worked more successfully to express the sheer physical joy of seeing.”

(Source: Bruce Silverstein Gallery)

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About claartjevandijk

Assistant Curator, Collections at the International Center of Photography, New York
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