Eleanor, Chicago by Harry Callahan (1948)

The photograph titled “Eleanor” was taken by the artist Harry Callahan. This image, captured in Chicago, may date from Callahan’s prolific period of work in the mid-20th century when he frequently photographed his wife, Eleanor, who served as the subject for many of his experiments in photography.

In this black and white photograph, a woman stands in the foreground, centralized and in sharp focus. She is dressed in a dark coat, with her hair pulled back, and her arms crossed in front of her. She appears calm, with a neutral expression. A large light pole bisects the image vertically, directly behind the woman, which creates an interesting symmetrical balance in the composition. The backdrop features an industrial scene with geometric patterns: there’s a cobbled street leading to a parked car, and an expansive, curved structure with a stark wall, evoking a sense of urban environment and architecture. The overcast sky and the absence of vibrant tones give the photograph a solemn and contemplative mood.

Other Photographs from Harry Callahan

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