The widow of the late American photographer Harry Callahan has passed away aged 95. Eleanor was Callahan’s model and muse for over 50 years, and he photographed her hundreds of times in an array of sensual, highly formalised portraits. Recalling the photographic relationship between Alfred Stieglitz and Georgia O’Keeffe and, closer to home, Peter Peryer’s studies of his then-wife, Erika Parkinson, the Callahans were involved in a prolonged and deeply intimate artistic collaboration.
Serving as both a symbol of womanhood and formal component of his compositions, Callahan captured his wife’s shapely (and often nude) figure draped across beds, submerged in water, and perhaps most memorably propped up against a radiator. “He just liked to take the pictures of me,” she said in a 2008 interview. “In every pose. Rain or shine. And whatever I was doing. If I was doing the dishes or if I was half asleep. And he knew that I never, never said no. I was always there for him. Because I knew that Harry would only do the right thing.”
A Clean concert is a funny place to start meditating upon the art historical influence of Cass (a small settlement in the South Island of New Zealand immortalised by the Rita Angus painting of the same name). Yet artwork by The Clean’s Robert Scott at the gig’s merch desk included a charming little painting of a shed in Owhiro that recalled the New Zealand classic. Scott isn’t the first Kiwi artist to revisit the scene. Julian Daspher, Peter Peryer and Dane Mitchell have all had a go too.
For those of you that missed it, here’s footage of Peter Peryer’s recent talk at Hamish McKay Gallery in Wellington.
Peter Peryer is delivering a floor talk at Hamish McKay Gallery, 39 Ghuznee Street, Wellington, this Saturday at 2pm. The event coincides with Peryer’s current exhibition that runs until November 6.