Reviewed: January 22, 2003
By: Photographs by Malak Karsh
Publisher: Key Porter Books
128 Pages, $39.95
Say the name "Karsh" and what comes to mind is the name Yousuf,
the internationally renowned portrait photographer, with an image of that
famous shot of Winston Churchill not far behind. That would be, I guessed when
I opened the book, why Malak chose not to use his last name professionally.
There would have been too many expectations. Knowlton Nash's introduction told
me I was correct in that.
I was not familiar with that name, though the list of publications in which
his landscape work appeared during a career that spanned over 50 years
guarantees that I must have seen his work many times, if only on one of the old
$1 bills, for which he provided a shot of the Parliament Buildings. This book
celebrates his work right across the country, beginning at the west and moving
to the east, just for the sake of variety.
There are shots of buildings and towns in this collection, but his primary
interest seems to have been in landscape. When he shot Dawson City he caught
the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers, but the town itself is
obscured by shadow-blackened trees along the Dome's hillside and a wisp of low
Malak's Canada is a tremendous collection of material, a fitting memorial
for an immigrant who once said, "I live and breathe Canadian."