This book intends to correct the somewhat blurred image of Ernst Haas’s color photography which, due to its extraordinary vibrancy, was much in demand by the illustrated press of its time. Haas’s color work, published in the most influential magazines and various books in Europe and America, earned him worldwide fame, but at the same time has often been derided by critics and curators as too easily accessible and not sufficiently “serious.” As a result, his reputation has suffered in comparison with a younger generation of color photographers, notably Eggleston, Shore and Meyerowitz. However, such criticism usually overlooks the astonishing sensibility of Haas’s personal work in color, which constantly but almost invisibly accompanied his commissioned photography and was far more radical and ambiguous. Haas never printed these pictures in his lifetime, let alone exhibit them. With their striking inventiveness and complexity, they firmly stand their ground in the face of the work of Haas’s fellow photographers. Due to its enormous popularity, Steidl is now offering Color Correction in a new, unaltered edition.
Ernst Haas was born in Vienna in 1921 and took up photography after World War II. His early work on returning Austrian prisoners of war brought him to the attention of Life, from which he resolutely declined a job as staff photographer in order to maintain his independence. At the invitation of Robert Capa, Haas joined Magnum in 1949, developing close associations with Capa, Werner Bischof and Henri Cartier-Bresson. He began experimenting with color, and in time became the premier color photographer of the 1950s. In 1962 New York’s Museum of Modern Art mounted its first solo exhibition of his color work. Haas’s books were legion, with The Creation (1971) selling 350,000 copies. Haas received the Hasselblad Award in 1986, the year of his death.