All About Photo Awards 2019

Michal Cala

Polish Photographer | Born: 1948

Michal Cala was born in Toruń, Poland in 1948 and studied aircraft construction in Warsaw at the University of Technology in the early 1970's. From 1974 to 1983 he worked as an engineer in various companies in Silesia, and began photographing in the area. In 1977, he moved to Tychy in Upper Silesia, where he co-founded the photographers' association KRON and become a member of the ZPAF – the Union of Polish Art Photographers.

Relatively unknown outside of his native country, his work is in several museum collections in Poland; in the Silesian Museum of Katowice, the Silesian Library in Katowice, the Upper Silesian Museum in Bytom, the Coal Mining Museum in Zabrze as well as local government building in Duisburg in the Ruhr (Germany) and various private collections. His work has received much acclaim and won numerus awards; among which are the Grand Prix at the Polish Landscape Biennale in Kielce twice, 1979 and 1983 and won the first prise at the Pilsner International Photo Awards in the Industrial category in 2007. His work from Galicia series and the Paysages de Pologne exhibition was shown in France in 1980's. The Silesia exhibition was shown widely in Katowice (1984, 2002, 2008), Krakow (1986, 2006), Warsaw (1986, 2009), in Enschede, the Netherlands, (2012), at the Photo Biennale Mannheim – Ludwigshafen – Heidelberg (2007) and part of group project at the Noorderlicht Photo Festival in the Netherlands (2008). In 2007 he was classified as one of most important Polish photographers in last century and participated in the group exhibition Polish Photography in XX Century (Warsaw, Poland and Vilnius, Lithuania). In the same year, Cala's photography was featured in British Journal of Photography and Foto8 magazine.

Publications on his work include The Anthology of Polish Photography 1839 – 1989, The Masters of Polish Landscape and The Polish Photography in the 20th Century.

His past exhibition Metropolis on Silesian urban landscapes was held at the Silesian Museum in Katowice in 2013 and a solo show Silesia and Galicia in the Museum of History of Photography in 2016 in Krakow (Poland). His photo book based on the same series was recently selected in the Open Submission at Belfast and Athens Photo Festivals respectively (2017).

The latest solo exhibition at MMX Gallery; SILESIA 1975-1985, was the first time his work has been shown in UK.

MMX Gallery about the exhibition Silesia 1975-1985

Michal Cala is regarded as one of the most important Polish photographers of the last century. Cala started taking pictures in his youth and has been working professionally as a photographer for nearly 40 years. Silesia is an industrial district in Poland which at the time of 1970's and early 1980's was experiencing its peak of development and activity. Although providing massive employment for the area, the environmental issues were ignored.

Stepping off the train, Cala encountered the other-worldly landscape for the first time and decided this is what he wanted to make of photographic record of. Fascinated by the subject matter, he devoted himself to photographing the Silesian landscape between 1975 – 1992, which resulted in the series entitled Silesia (Śląsk in Polish). Cala's photography took on various influences ranging from surrealism, which inspired a movement in Poland called "fotografia kreacyjna" (creative photography), and the realism of British New Wave cinema of the late 1950's and early 1960's.

Poland's isolation during the Cold War made it very difficult for photographers to obtain artistic publications. However, some Czech and Polish magazines were publishing Western photographers work such as Edward Weston, Bill Brandt, Robert Frank and Diane Arbus who acted as a window for inspiration. Cala was influenced by landscape, reportage and social documentary photography, which he always portrayed in his personally stylised images. In Poland, political and material conditions were harsh under Soviet influence. Using a basic 35mm Exa 500 camera, he managed to produce images of such a lyrical beauty only to be emphasised again with a dark graphic printing style, to further enhance his vision of the sometimes-apocalyptic looking landscape before him. A single house surrounded by huge cooling towers, majestic slagheaps, lonely figures microscopic when compared to the massive scale of industrial surroundings are subtle metaphors of living in a communist reality. The majority of photographs in the exhibition are vintage silver gelatin prints, made by Cala at the time they were taken.

Source: MMX Gallery

Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
Michal Cala
AAP Magazine #6 Black & White Contest
 
 

More Great Photographers To Discover

Builder Levy
Nationality: American

New Yorker Builder Levy has been photographing America and her inhabitants for the past 50 years. His social consciousness took him to significant areas of our country during tumultuous times. His commitment to aesthetically [or artistically] documenting the world around him earned him the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008. Levy's work is in more than 50 public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, High Museum of Art, (…)
 
Kristoffer Albrecht
Nationality: Finnish
Born: 1961
Born in Helsinki, Finland in 1961. Lives in Ingå, Finland. Albrecht works as an independent photographer.
His photographic work has been exhibited in his native Finland and internationally. Albrecht's work can be seen in collections at Helsinki’s Finnish Museum of Photography, Stockholm’s Moderna Museet, Moscow’s Pushkin Museum, Paris’ Bibliothèque Nationale, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and more. Has published some 30 books, among them Metropol (1998), (…)
Kristoffer Albrecht
Kristoffer Albrecht
Kristoffer Albrecht
Kristoffer Albrecht
Kristoffer Albrecht
Kristoffer Albrecht
Kristoffer Albrecht
Kristoffer Albrecht
 
Mauricio Alejo
Nationality: Mexican
Born: 1969
Mauricio Alejo was born in Mexico City in 1969. He earned his Master of Art from New York University in 2002, as a Fulbright Grant recipient. In 2007, he was a resident artist at NUS Centre for the Arts in Singapore. He has received multiple awards and grants, including the New York Foundation for the Arts grant in 2008. His work is part of important collections such as Daros Latinoamérica Collection in Zürich . His work has been reviewed in important journals, (…)
Mauricio Alejo
Mauricio Alejo
Mauricio Alejo
Mauricio Alejo
Mauricio Alejo
Mauricio Alejo
Mauricio Alejo
Mauricio Alejo
 
Leonard Freed
Nationality: American
Born: 1929 - Died: 2006
Leonard Freed was a documentary photojournalist and longtime Magnum member. He was born to Jewish, working-class parents of Eastern European descent. Freed had wanted to be a painter, but began taking photographs in the Netherlands and discovered a new passion. He traveled in Europe and Africa before returning to the United States where he attended the New School and studied with Alexey Brodovitch, the art director of Harper's Bazaar. In 1958 he moved to Amsterdam to (…)
 
Frieke Janssens
Nationality: Belgium
Born: 1980

From www.bransch.net
Frieke janssens was born in bruges, belgium, in 1980. after starting with evening classes in photography at an age of 15, she skipped the pilot or police on a horse option. photography was her future. while studying photography at sint-lukas brussels she was mainly interested in lifestyle, sociology and (…)
 
Anita Conti
Nationality: French
Born: 1899 - Died: 1997

Anita Caracotchian was born in Ermont in Seine-et-Oise to a wealthy Armenian family. She spent her childhood being educated at home by different tutors and travelling with her family, gradually developing a passion for books and the sea. After moving to Paris, she concentrated on writing poems and the art of book binding. Her work got the attention of celebrities and she won different awards and prizes for her creativity in London, Paris, New York and Brussels.

(…)
 
Krzysztof Wladyka
Nationality: Polish
Born: 1980
KRZYSZTOF WLADYKA was born in 1980 in Olawa (Poland) where he currently lives and works. He discovered photography as an artistic medium in 2006. As a self-taught photographer who is not strictly connected with photography market he became appreciated by various curators and galleries. His works has been exhibited in Poland, United States and Cambodia - during Angkor Photo Festival in 2011. The most popular series “Animalies” has been awarded in many photo competitions (…)
Krzysztof Wladyka
Krzysztof Wladyka
Krzysztof Wladyka
Krzysztof Wladyka
Krzysztof Wladyka
Krzysztof Wladyka
Krzysztof Wladyka
Krzysztof Wladyka
 
Nicolas Dhervillers
Nationality: French
Born: 1981
Nicolas Dhervillers is a French artist who works in the field of photography. After multimedia and photography studies, he made a name for himself after an historic commission from the Centre Pompidou in Metz. Inspired by cinematic, theatrical and pictorial writing, Nicolas Dhervillers's approach decompartmentalizes the photographic medium.

He works with French Galleries, collaborates with Art Centers and International Museums. He was invited to show his work in many (…)
Nicolas Dhervillers
Nicolas Dhervillers
Nicolas Dhervillers
Nicolas Dhervillers
Nicolas Dhervillers
Nicolas Dhervillers
Nicolas Dhervillers
Nicolas Dhervillers
 
Lee Jeffries
Nationality: British

Lee Jeffries lives in Manchester in the United Kingdom. Close to the professional football circle, this artist starts to photograph sporting events. A chance meeting with a young homeless girl in the streets of London changes his artistic approach forever. Lee Jeffries recalls that, initially, he had stolen a photo from this young homeless girl huddled in a sleeping bag. The photographer knew that the young girl had noticed him but his first reaction was to leave. He (…)
Lee Jeffries
Lee Jeffries
Lee Jeffries
Lee Jeffries
Lee Jeffries
Lee Jeffries
Lee Jeffries
Lee Jeffries
 
Thomas Dodd
Nationality: American

Thomas Dodd is a visual artist and photographer based out of Atlanta, Georgia who has developed a style that he calls "painterly photo montage" - a method he employs during principal photography and in editing software with which he crafts elaborately textured pieces that have a very organic and decidedly non-digital look to them.

His work often has mythic and quasi-religious themes that pay homage to Old Master art traditions while at the same time drawing (…)
Thomas Dodd
Thomas Dodd
Thomas Dodd
Thomas Dodd
Thomas Dodd
Thomas Dodd
Thomas Dodd
Thomas Dodd
 
AAP Magazine #6 Black & White Contest
 
Join our newsletter
Be up-to-date with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events
 
Discover the 5th Issue of AAP Magazine
All About Photo Magazine showcases the winners of AAP Magazine Competitions
 
 
 
The Jules Maeght Gallery is a contemporary art gallery who seeks to engage the San Francisco community by infusing European artists, young and established alike, into a diverse, multimedia dialogue.
 
TAKES U TO THE NEXT LEVEL
 
Since 2005, your guide through contemporary art from a French perspective to let you make exciting choices