Pentti Sammallahti (born Helsinki 1950) is a benchmark figure in contemporary Finnish photography. He began photographing at 11 and by 1971 began to travel and exhibit extensively throughout the world. Sammallahti’s travels across Europe, Scandinavia, Siberia, the far East and Africa, combined with his interest in fine printing and lithography, led him to publish numerous portfolios such as Ici et Loin (Actes Sud, 2012). He 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, and has been represented at art fairs and in exhibitions in Europe and the USA for over four decades.
Sammallahti’s work has a supernatural sense of a moment suspended in time, with the sensitivity and beauty of the world displayed through its animalistic existence. As a wanderer and master craftsman Sammallahti records the relationships he discovers between people and animals in the far-off places he visits. 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.
An interview with Pentti Sammallhatti about his work, 2016.
Ffotogallery, Cardiff, Wales
Victoria & Albert Museum, London, England
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX
Nice Audiovisuel, Nice, France
Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, France
Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow, Russia
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg, Germany
Moderna Museet/ Fotografiska Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
The Finnish State Collections
Photographic Museum of Finland
When frost was spectre-grey, The Photographers' Gallery, London, England
Here Far Away, Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York, NY (February 27-April 27)
Here Far Away, Camera Obscura Gallery, Paris, France
Here Far Away, Photo-Eye Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico
Pentti Sammallahti, Retrospective, Recontres d'Arles, France, Summer, 2012
The Extra/Ordinary World of Pentti Sammallahti, Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York, NY
Retrospective at the Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki
Pentti Sammallahti: Images rares ou recentes, Box Galerie, Brussels, Belgium
Pentti Sammallahti, Candace Dwan Gallery, New York, NY
Northern Light, Candace Dwan/ Nailya Alexander Galleries, New York, New York
Pentti Sammallahti, personal exhibition at Arles International Photography Festival, France
Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation's opening exhibition in Paris, for which Cartier-Bresson chooses 100 of
his favorite photographers
Pennti Sammallahti, Houston FotoFest, Houston, TX
Solo exhibition at Paris' Mois de la Photographie, leading to regular exhibitions at international
photography events in Europe, Asia, America and Africa
First portfolio Cathleen Ní Houlihan, a travelling exhibition, Helsinki, Finland
First solo exhibition abroad at the Gotland artists' house in Visby. Followed by solo exhibitions in twenty
Uusia sarjoja exhibition at the Finnish Museum of Photography.
Mullasta taivaalle exhibition at the Finnish Museum of Photography.
First solo exhibition Kaupunki on painajainen.
2001 He was awarded the title of Honorary Doctorate in Art by the University of Art and Design.
1991 He was awarded the Finnish State's 15-year artist's grant.1980 Finnish Critics' Association's Kritiikin
1975 He received his first State Art Award for Photographic Art (he was also awarded in 1979, 1992,
1968 He received First Prize in a cultural meet between Sweden and Finland at the Anderson Art
Museum in Helsinki
1966 He received a prize in the “Junge Fotografen zeigen Europa” competition