October 26, 2012
New Photography Book
Balthazar Korab was an expert architectural photographer, capturing the soul of design in his work.
Image courtesy of Princeton Architectural Press
Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography
By John Comazzi
More from Metropolis
Princeton Architectural Press
Balthazar Korab always wanted to be known as “an architect who makes pictures rather than a photographer who is knowledgeable about architecture,” John Comazzi tells his readers. Korab’s career can hardly be summoned up so easily. The story of the celebrated architecture photographer begins in 1920s and 30s Hungary where he was raised in an upper-middle-class family, studying art, music, and poetry, even as his country was rocked with economic and social instability. With the aftermath of World War II he was forced to flee Hungary and landed in Paris where he studied architecture at École des Beaux-Arts. In between his formal studies he traveled through Europe, documenting the relationships between architecture, culture, and public life. It wasn’t, however, until he moved to Michigan and began working as a staff photographer for Eero Saarinen, that Korab established himself to be the man who documented midcentury modernism. Comazzi guides us through Korab’s long distinguished career throughout the world. Aiming to provide readers with more than a simple chronology of a life, the second half of the biography contains over 200 images of architecture. These photographs are not just those of iconic modernist buildings, but also vernacular ones, industrial sites, and anonymous structures throughout the world. Comazzi provides a showcase of the work of a man who knew how to capture the soul of design.
Shannon Sharpe is the managing editor at Metropolis and a contributing arts and culture writer to various publications. She is the former deputy editor of American Craft.