Balthazar Korab is one of the most influential architectural photographers of the 20th century. In his newly released illustrated biography, Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography, John Comazzi traces Korab’s life and career, from his move to America to working with leading mid-century architects, all realized in stunning architectural photography.
After graduating from the famed Ècole des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Balthazar Korab moved to America and made a name for himself as the on-staff photographer for architect Eero Saarinen. Korab pioneered the concept of using photography during the architectural design process. Comazzi highlights this innovative application of photography through his work with Saarinen, while developing the TWA terminal. The futuristic design of the terminal required new means of communicating the way the architecture would connect to those passing through the space. Korab’s understanding of architectural design does not stop at the work of Saarinen, as he was tapped by architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Mies van der Rohe, and Frank Ghery, among others, to capture their spaces. Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography, presents one of the most comprehensive collections of Korab’s work throughout the 20th century.
What cannot be denied about this illustrated biography is the amount by which Korab’s photographs demonstrate a keen understanding of the potential architecture has to integrate with photography. Korab lets the lines and shapes of the buildings interact with the edges of the photographs to create dynamic, exciting compositions, which are then informed by Comazzi's introductions. His less common color photographs harness light and saturated hues, which adds extra layers of dimension to his work. Korab offers architectural perspectives through his photography which capture the essence of not only the building, but that of the building’s environment.
Credit: Balthazar Korab: Architect of Photography by John Comazzi, Princeton Architectural Press, 2012.