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Sam Haskins

Portraits & Other Stories

Friday 8 December 2006 until Sunday 29 April 2007

Haskins is known for his poetic combinations of images and this exhibition of 'extended' portraits builds on this approach. Rather than presenting a single photographic portrait, Haskins extends the idea of a portrait by abutting two images so that one informs the other. A number of the portraits are of internationally renowned artists including painter Peter Blake, sculptor George Segal and ceramicist Lucie Rie.

Milton Glaser Art is Work
Milton Glaser Art is Work

The National Portrait Gallery will present an exhibition of one of the most important international photographers Sam Haskins: Portraits and Other Stories from 8 December 2006 to 22 April 2007.

The essence of Sam Haskins is that of an aware artist who marries his sense of graphic design to the magic of his pictures, and always there is an element of humour and wizardry in the execution.

Haskins’ innovative body of work has earned an enviable place in the world of modern photography. His first 4 books were created in his homeland of South Africa. Haskins emigrated to England just in time to be part of the London scene of the ‘swinging sixties’ The books he produced during this period have now become collectors’ items; They were Five Girls (1962), Cowboy Kate & Other Stories (1964), November Girl (1966), and African Image (1967).

Later books were Haskins Posters (1973), Photographics (1980), and Haskins a Bologna (1984). He also produced 15 calendars for Pentax between the years 1970 and 2000. In addition he is featured in several books where he was not the sole author. His fashion photography was seen in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar and other high profile magazines where he still maintains an active presence.

This exhibition shows various images from those publications mixed with previously unseen photographs. The approach for this show is to feature images in pairs - resembling a double page spread. Layout has always been a favourite area of involvement with Sam and he uses this talent to good advantage in the way he presents this exhibition. Two abutted images always have mutual relevance while they embrace the principle that the sum of one plus one often equals more than two.

He has always enjoyed photographing fellow artists and included are: - Painter Peter Blake, Sculptor George Segal, Ceramist Lucie Rie, Graphic Designer Milton Glazer and Author Arthur Koestler.

But it would hardly be a Sam Haskins exhibition without a touch of glamour so sequences of the Australian beauties Nicole Kidman, Cate Blanchett, Naomi Watts and Elle McPherson also feature.

Since 2002 Sam and his wife, Alida have been living in the Southern Highlands of NSW.