Pentti Sammallahti 1950

Lives in Helsinki, Finland. Works in Helsinki, Finland.

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.

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An interview with Pentti Sammallhatti about his work, 2016.


COLLECTIONS 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 SOLO EXHIBITIONS 2016 When frost was spectre-grey, The Photographers' Gallery, London, England 2013 Here Far Away, Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York, NY (February 27-April 27) 2012 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 2011 The Extra/Ordinary World of Pentti Sammallahti, Nailya Alexander Gallery, New York, NY 2010 Retrospective at the Finnish Museum of Photography, Helsinki Pentti Sammallahti: Images rares ou recentes, Box Galerie, Brussels, Belgium 2007 Pentti Sammallahti, Candace Dwan Gallery, New York, NY 2006 Northern Light, Candace Dwan/ Nailya Alexander Galleries, New York, New York 2005 Pentti Sammallahti, personal exhibition at Arles International Photography Festival, France 2004 Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation's opening exhibition in Paris, for which Cartier-Bresson chooses 100 of his favorite photographers 1998 Pennti Sammallahti, Houston FotoFest, Houston, TX 1996 Solo exhibition at Paris' Mois de la Photographie, leading to regular exhibitions at international photography events in Europe, Asia, America and Africa 1979 First portfolio Cathleen Ní Houlihan, a travelling exhibition, Helsinki, Finland 1977 First solo exhibition abroad at the Gotland artists' house in Visby. Followed by solo exhibitions in twenty countries. 1976 Uusia sarjoja exhibition at the Finnish Museum of Photography. 1974 Mullasta taivaalle exhibition at the Finnish Museum of Photography. 1971 First solo exhibition Kaupunki on painajainen. AWARDS 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 kannukset award 1975 He received his first State Art Award for Photographic Art (he was also awarded in 1979, 1992, 2009). 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