Posts Tagged ‘Christer Strömholm


Exhibition: ‘Eyes Wide Open: 100 Years of Leica Photography’ at Deichtorhallen Hamburg

Exhibition dates: 24th October 2014 – 11th January 2015

Curator: Hans-Michael Koetzle



Oskar Barnack. 'Wetzlar Eisenmarkt' 1913


Oskar Barnack (Germany, 1879-1936)
Wetzlar Eisenmarkt
© Leica Camera AG



A photographic revolution. So much more than just photojournalism… and it has a nice sound as well.
“Indiscreet discretion” as the photographer F. C. Gundlach puts it. Some memorable photographs here.


Many thankx to the Deichtorhallen Hamburg for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.


Ernst Leitz. 'New York II' 1914


Ernst Leitz (German, 1843-1920)
New York II
© Leica Camera AG



Just a few months before the outbreak of the First World War, Ernst Leitz II travelled to the USA. While there, he was able to capture photos, using a second model of the “Liliput” camera developed by Oskar Barnack, which most certainly would be found in a history of street photography.


Oskar Barnack. 'Flood in Wetzlar' 1920


Oskar Barnack (Germany, 1879-1936)
Flood in Wetzlar
© Leica Camera AG



From around the time of 1914, Oskar Barnack must have carried a prototype camera with him, particularly during his travels – the camera first received the name Leica in 1925. Perhaps his most famous sequence of images, because it has been shown continually since, is the striking series of the floods in Wetzlar, Germany, in 1920


'Ur-Leica' 1914


© Leica Camera AG



Oskar Barnack invents the Ur-Leica

Designed by Oskar Barnack, the first functional prototype of a new camera for 35 mm perforated cinema film stock was completed in March 1914. The camera consisted of a metal housing, had a retractable lens and a focal plane shutter, which is not overlapped, however. A bolt-on lens cap that was swivelled during film transport, prevented incidental light. For the first time film advance and shutter cocking were connected to a camera – double exposures were excluded. The camera has gone down in the history of photography under the name Ur-Leica.


Ilse Bing. 'Self-portrait in Spiegeln' 1931


Ilse Bing (German, 1899-1998)
Self-portrait in Spiegeln
© Leica Camera AG


Anton Stankowski. 'Greeting, Zurich, Rüdenplatz' 1932


Anton Stankowski (German, 1906-1998)
Greeting, Zurich, Rüdenplatz
© Stankowski-Stiftung


Henri Cartier-Bresson. 'Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris' 1932


Henri Cartier-Bresson (French, 1908-2004)
Behind the Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris


Alexander Rodchenko. 'Girl with Leica' 1934


Alexander Rodchenko (Russian, 1891-1956)
Girl with Leica



Jewgenija Lemberg, shown here, was a lover of the photographer Alexander Rodchenko for quite some time. In 1992, a print of this photo brought in a tremendous 115,000 British pounds at a Christie’s auction in London. Alexander Rodchenko was continually capturing Jewgenija Lemberg in new, surprising and bold poses – until her death in a train accident. 


Heinrich Heidersberger. 'Laederstraede, Copenhagen' 1935


Heinrich Heidersberger (German, 1906-2006)
Laederstraede, Copenhagen
© Institut Heidersberger


Robert Capa. 'Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Cerro Muriano, September 5, 1936' 1936


Robert Capa (Hungarian-American, 1913-1954)
Loyalist Militiaman at the Moment of Death, Cerro Muriano, September 5, 1936



At the age of 23 and equipped with his Leica, Robert Capa embedded himself in the Spanish Civil War while on assignment for the French press. On 5 September 1936, he managed to capture the perhaps most well-known war photo of the 20th century. 


Henri Cartier-Bresson. 'Sunday on the banks of the River Marne' Juvisy, France 1938


Henri Cartier-Bresson (French, 1908-2004)
Sunday on the banks of the River Marne
Juvisy, France 1938



This photo was taken two years after the large-scale strikes that ultimately led to a fundamental improvement in social conditions. Against this backdrop, the picnic in nature is also, above all, a political message – convincing in a formal, aesthetic way, and inherently consistent and suggestive at the same time.


Evgeny Khaldey (Russian, 1917-1997) 'The Flag of Victory' 1945


Evgeny Khaldey (Russian, 1917-1997)
The Flag of Victory
Gelatin silver print
© Collection Ernst Volland and Heinz Krimmer, Leica Camera AG



Although this scene was staged, it loses none of its impact as an image and in no way hampers the resounding global response that it has achieved. The Red Army prevailed – there’s nothing more to convey in such a harmonious picture.


Alfred Eisenstaedt. 'VJ Day, Times Square, NY, 14. August 1945'


Alfred Eisenstaedt (American, born Germany 1898-1995)
VJ Day, Times Square, NY, 14. August 1945
© Alfred Eisenstaedt, 2014



This photo appeared on the cover of Life magazine and grew to become one of Alfred Eisenstaedt’s most well-known images. “People tell me,” he once said, “that when I am in heaven they will remember this picture.”


W. Eugene Smith. 'Guardia Civil, Spain' 1950


W. Eugene Smith (American, 1918-1978)
Guardia Civil, Spain
Gelatin silver print
25.1 x 32.1 cm



W. Eugene Smith’s image of Guardia Civil is also a symbol of an imperious, backward Spain under the rule of Franco. For two months, W. Eugene Smith went scouting for a village and photographed it with the residents’ consent. What he shows us is a strange world: rural, archaic, as if on another planet. 


Inge Morath. 'London' 1950


Inge Morath (American, born Austria 1923-2002)



Inge Morath’s photo titled “London” is well spotted, clearly composed and yet complicated in its arrangement. It also tells of a structure of domination, of hierarchies and traditions which certainly were more stable in England than in other European countries. 


Franz Hubmann. 'Regular at the Café Hawelka, Vienna' 1956/57


Franz Hubmann (Austrian, 1914-2007)
Regular guest at the Café Hawelka, Vienna
© Franz Hubmann. Leica Camera AG



We shall never discover who the man is in this photo. Franz Hubmann, more or less while walking by the table, captured the guest gently balancing a cup with the tips of his fingers – viewed from above without the use of flash, without any hectic movement, and not at all staged.


Frank Horvat. 'Givenchy Hat For Jardin des Modes' 1958


Frank Horvat (French, 1928-2020)
Givenchy Hat For Jardin des Modes, Paris
Abzug 1995 / Haus der Photographie / Sammlung F.C. Gundlach Hamburg


F.C. Gundlach. 'Fashion reportage for 'Nino', Port of Hamburg' 1958


F.C. Gundlach (German, b. 1926)
Fashion reportage for ‘Nino’, Port of Hamburg
© F.C. Gundlach


Hans Silvester. 'Steel frame assembly' about the end of the 1950s


Hans Silvester (born Germany 1938)
Steel frame assembly
about the end of the 1950s
Silver gelatin, vintage print
© Hans Silvester / Leica AG




The exhibition EYES WIDE OPEN: 100 YEARS OF LEICA PHOTOGRAPHY illuminates across fourteen chapters various aspects of recent small-format photography, from journalistic strategies to documentary approaches and free artistic positions, spanning fourteen chapters. Among the artists whose work will be shown are Alexander Rodchenko, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa, Christer Strömholm, Robert Frank, Bruce Davidson, William Klein, William Eggleston, René Burri, Thomas Hoepker and Bruce Gilden. Following its premiere in the House of Photography at the Deichtorhallen Hamburg, the exhibition will travel to Frankfurt, Berlin, Vienna and Munich.

Some 500 photographs, supplemented by documentary material, including journals, magazines, books, advertisements, brochures, camera prototypes and films, will recount the history of small-format photography from its beginnings to the present day. The exhibition, which is curated by Hans-Michael Koetzle, follows the course of technological change and photographic history.

According to an entry in the workshop records, by March 1914 at the latest, Oskar Barnack, who worked as an industrial designer at Ernst Leitz in Wetzlar, completed the first functional model of a small-format camera for 35mm cinema film. The introduction of the Leica (a combination of “Leitz” and “Camera”) which was delayed until 1925 due to the war, was not merely the invention of a new camera; the small, reliable and always-ready Leica, equipped with a high-performance lens specially engineered by Max Berek, marked a paradigm shift in photography. Not only did it offer amateur photographers, newcomers and emancipated women greater access to photography; the Leica, which could be easily carried in a coat pocket, also became a ubiquitous part of everyday life. The comparatively affordable small-format camera stimulated photographic experimentation and opened up new perspectives. In general, visual strategies for representing the world became more innovative, bold and dynamic. Without question, the Leica developed by Oskar Barnack and introduced by Ernst Leitz II in 1924 was something like photography’s answer to the phenomenological needs of a new, high-speed era.

The exhibition EYES WIDE OPEN: 100 YEARS OF LEICA PHOTOGRAPHY will attempt for the first time to offer a comprehensive overview of the change in photography brought about by the invention and introduction of the Leica. Rather than isolating the history of the camera or considering it for its own sake, it will examine the visual revolution sparked by the technological innovation of the Leica. The exhibition will take an art- and cultural-historical perspective in pursuit of the question of how the photographic gaze changed as a result of the Leica and the small-format picture, and what effects the miniaturisation of photography had on the work of amateurs, artists and photojournalists. Not least, it will also seek to determine what new subjects the camera addressed with its wide range of interchangeable lenses, and how these subjects were seen in a new light: a new way of perceiving the world through the Leica viewfinder.

Among the featured photographers are those who are internationally known for their work with Leica cameras as well as amateurs and artists who have not yet been widely associated with small-format photography, including Ilja Ehrenburg, Alfons Walde, Ben Shahn and George Grosz. Important loans, some of which have never been shown before, come from the factory archives of Leica Camera AG in Wetzlar, international collections and museums, as well as private lenders (Sammlung F. C. Gundlach, Sammlung Skrein, Sammlung WestLicht).

Press release from the Deichtorhallen Hamburg website


Robert Lebeck. 'The stolen sword, Belgian Congo Leopoldville' 1960


Robert Lebeck (German, 1929-2014)
The stolen sword, Belgian Congo Leopoldville
© Robert Lebeck/ Leica Camera AG



When a young Congolese man grabs the king’s sword from the backseat of an open-top car on 29 June 1960, Robert Lebeck manages to capture the image of his life. The photo became a metaphor for the end of the descending dominance by Europeans on the African continent. 


Christer Strömholm. 'Nana, Place Blanche, Paris' 1961


Christer Strömholm (Swedish, 1918-2002)
Nana, Place Blanche, Paris
© Christer Strömholm/Strömholm Estate, 2014


Ulrich Mack. 'Wild horses in Kenya' 1964


Ulrich Mack (German, b. 1934)
Wild horses in Kenya
© Ulrich Mack, Hamburg / Leica Camera AG



Ulrich Mack travelled to Africa to discover the continent as a reporter – a continent that had been battered by warmongers and massacres. But all this changed: as if in a state of ecstasy, Ulrich Mack photographed a herd of wild horses, virtually throwing himself down under the animals


Claude Dityvon. "L'homme à la chaise" [The man in the chair], Bd St. Michel, 21 May 1968


Claude Dityvon (French, 1937-2008)
“L’homme à la chaise” [The man in the chair], Bd St. Michel, 21 May 1968
© Chris Dityvon, Paris


Fred Herzog. 'Man with Bandage' 1968


Fred Herzog (German, 1930-2019)
Man with Bandage
Courtesy of Equinox Gallery, Vancouver
© Fred Herzog, 2014


Lee Friedlander. 'Mount Rushmore, South Dakota' 1969


Lee Friedlander (American, b. 1934)
Mount Rushmore, South Dakota
Haus der Photographie / Sammlung F.C. Gundlach Hamburg


Nick Út: The Associated Press. 'Napalm attack in Vietnam' 1972


Nick Út (Vietnamese-American, b. 1951) : The Associated Press
Napalm attack in Vietnam
© Nick Út/AP/ Leica Camera AG


Eliott Erwitt. 'Felix, Gladys and Rover' New York City, 1974


Eliott Erwitt (American, born France 1928)
Felix, Gladys and Rover
New York City, 1974



Elliott Erwitt’s passion focused on dogs – for him, they were the incarnation of human beings, with fur and a tail. His photo titled “New York City” was taken for a shoe manufacturer. 


René Burri. 'San-Cristobál' 1976


René Burri (Swiss, 1933-2014)


Martine Franck. 'Swimming pool designed by Alain Capeilières' 1976


Martine Franck (British-Belgian, 1938-2012)
Swimming pool designed by Alain Capeilières


Wilfried Bauer. From the series "Hong Kong", 1985


Wilfried Bauer (German, 1944-2005)
From the series Hong Kong
Originally published in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung # 307, 17.01.1986
© Nachlass Wilfried Bauer/Stiftung F.C. Gundlach


Rudi Meisel. 'Leningrad' 1987


Rudi Meisel (German, b. 1949)


Jeff Mermelstein. 'Sidewalk' 1995


Jeff Mermelstein (American, b. 1957)
© Jeff Mermelstein


Michael von Graffenried. From the series 'Night in Paradise', Thielle (Switzerland) 1998


Michael von Graffenried (Swiss, b. 1957)
From the series Night in Paradise, Thielle (Switzerland)
© Michael von Graffenried


Bruce Gilden: 'Untitled', from the series "GO", 2001


Bruce Gilden (American, b. 1946)
Untitled, from the series “GO”
© Bruce Gilden 2014/Magnum Photos



Bruce Gilden is an avid portrait photographer, without his photos ever appearing posed or staged. His image of humanity arises from the flow of life, the hectic everyday goings-on or – like in “Go” – the deep pit of violence, the Mafia and corruption. 


François Fontaine. 'Vertigo' from the 'Silenzio!' series 2012


François Fontaine (French, b. 1968)
Vertigo from the Silenzio! series


Julia Baier. From the series "Geschwebe," 2014


Julia Baier
From the series Geschwebe
© Julia Baier



Deichtorhallen Hamburg
House of Photography
Deichtorstr. 1-2
D – 20095 Hamburg

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 6pm
Every first Thursday of the month 11am – 9pm

Deichtorhallen Hamburg website


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Exhibition: ‘A Way of Life – Swedish Photography from Christer Strömholm until Today’ at Moderna Museet Malmö, Sweden

Exhibition dates: 1st February – 18th May 2014

Curator: Anna Tellgren, curator of photography, Moderna Museet.

Featured photographers: Yngve Baum, Martin Bogren, Stina Brockman, Anna Clarén, Dawid, Ann Christine Eek, Agneta Ekman, JH Engström, Nan Goldin, Neil Goldstein, Catharina Gotby, Denise Grünstein, Kenneth Gustavsson, Walter Hirsch, Gerry Johansson, Rune Jonsson, Eva Klasson, Nina Korhonen, Tuija Lindström, Anders Petersen, Håkan Pieniowski, Marco Plüss, Inta Ruka, Ulf Simonsson, Gunnar Smoliansky, Christer Strömholm, Lars Tunbjörk, Odd Uhrbom, John S. Webb.



Kenneth Gustavsson. 'Berlin' 1983


Kenneth Gustavsson (Swedish, 1946-2009)
© Kenneth Gustavsson Estate



Gustavsson’s photographs are characterised by a strong personal expression. With tireless consistency, he sought his inner visions in urban environments such as New York, Berlin and Paris. His exceptional talent for creating everyday magic makes him timeless and always topical. The eighties were Gustavsson’s most creative period. His photographs from Belfast are an extraordinary visual interpretation of conditions in a city wracked by terror and violence.

Kenneth Gustavsson grew up in a suburb north west of Stockholm. Between 1964 and 1967 he studied photography at the Fotoskolan in Stockholm, where the photographer Christer Strömholm was head, at the same time as Anders Petersen. After graduation in 1967, he and Petersen co-founded the Saftra photo agency (Saftra Reportage Fotografi).

The Swedish photo magazine Foto published Gustavsson’s work in the 1960s. Together with Anders Petersen, Gustavsson portrayed the Stockholm slums in an exhibition at the Stockholm City Museum in 1969. After not working in photography for most of the 1970s, a feature in ETC magazine in 1983 revived Gustavsson’s career and he went on to complete assignments in Belfast, Chicago, Reykjavik and New York for ETC. In 1984 he was awarded FOTO magazine’s Photographer’s Price.

The critic Gerry Badger has said of Gustavsson’s work that “it certainly is very post-war, deeply existential and luminously poetic. And, like most good photography, it is a beguiling exploration of the human condition and our relationship with the world.”

Text from the Wikipedia website



Another posting on an eclectic subject that this archive likes to promote, this time on Swedish photography… a subject that I know very little about.


Many thanks to the Moderna Museet Malmö for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.


Tuija Lindström. 'Pia' 1983


Tuija Lindström (Finnish-Swedish, 1950-2017)
© Tuija Lindström



Tuija Lindström belongs to the great legends of Swedish photography. Her images gained great recognition when exhibited in a group show at Camera Obscura. Lindström’s work was at this time centred on a narrative with focus on a female experience where the male gaze and patriarchal structures were investigated. This theme also characterised the photographic series ‘The Girls at Bull’s Pond’ (1991), which can be counted as Tuija Lindstrom’s real breakthrough. Other subject matters in her work revolves around memories and recollections, time and social issues.

Tuija Lindström’s work is characterised by material experiments inherent to the medium and the darkroom becomes a place for meditative, alchemical operations. Here the presences of the darkroom functions as a kind of performance art. A place of evasion where the craftsmanship evoke the sometimes coarse images soft shades, deep blacks and contrasts.

In 1992 Lindström was appointed professor at the Photo Academy, now the School of Photography at the Academy of Fine Arts in Gothenburg, where she came to teach until 2002. As the first woman on record Tuija Lindström is significant for the introduction of a more artistic and theoretical photography where philosophy and art history were incorporated in the training. An achievement that meant a step away from the documentary tradition that for a long time had characterised Swedish photography.

Text from the Female Artists in History Facebook page [Online] Cited 19/03/2021.


Martin Bogren. 'No title'. From the series 'Lowlands' 2011


Martin Bogren (Sweden, b. 1967)
No title
From the series Lowlands
© Martin Bogren



In the 1990s, Martin Bogren developed a personal approach of documentary photography by following Swedish musicians and artists on stage, tour, and studio. His first book “The Cardigans – Been It”, published at the top of the group’s success in 1996 , reveals his work and launches his career. Martin Bogren however aims at going beyond assignments and music field : he focuses on more personal photographic work.

Travels encounters, (Notes, 2008, Italia, 2016), joy of first discoveries (Ocean, 2008), or teenage spleen (Lowlands, 2011, Tractors boys, 2013, Embraces, 2014) : his works reveal a vivid desire to avoid boredom and to reach an elsewhere. He gets in contact with his subjects as a silent witness, as a subtle and caring observer. Through grainy black-and-white and highly grey nuanced photographs, he succeeds in combining a documentary approach with a sensitive affirmation of his subjective vision.

Martin Bogren “manages not to disrupt the world into which he immerses himself, with decency, with attention and acuity, and with respect, without judging – holding his breath (…) One thinks, of course, of all those photographers who – from Robert Franck onwards, from Anders Petersen to Michael Ackerman – have known how to give us the gift of their way of looking, telling us that they wanted to show nothing more than what they needed to show and to say.” (Christian Caujolle, Foreword to Tractor Boys, 2013)

Text from the Vu website [Online] Cited 19/03/2021.


Martin Bogren. 'No title'. From the series 'Lowlands' 2011


Martin Bogren (Sweden, b. 1967)
No title
From the series Lowlands
© Martin Bogren



Christer Strömholm (1918-2002) is a predominant figure of Nordic photography and has inspired generations of young photographers. His images of the transsexuals of Place Blanche in Paris is some of his most known work. Included in the exhibition are photographers that have followed in the footsteps of Strömholm. Works, taken from the Moderna Museet collection, by photographers such as Yngve Baum, Agneta Ekman, Ann Christine Eek, Gunnar Smoliansky and not least Anders Petersen, who has most prominently carried on the Strömholm legacy.

“This is an exciting exhibition not only due to its extensive selection but also because we are experimenting with intersecting three separate exhibitions into one entirety,” says John Peter Nilsson, Director, Moderna Museet Malmö. The exhibition also highlights three contemporary photographers. J.H. Engström (b. 1969) has been seen as a successor to Christer Strömholm and Anders Petersen, his Tout va bien is the newest series to be featured. Anna Clarén (b. 1972) is just like Engström part of a generation of photographers that emerged in the late 1990’s. In her bright colour photos we meet people and spaces close to the photographer. Martin Bogren (b. 1967) is the third contemporary photographer, he is active in Limhamn and his series Lowlands (2011) tells a personal tale, in black and white, about a small village in the Skåne countryside.

“It’s fantastic to be able to show an important part of Swedish modern photography history using the Moderna Museet collection. Martin Bogren, Anna Clarén and J. H. Engström are all three contemporary photographers that are good examples of how strong and exciting the Nordic photography scene is right now,” says Anna Tellgren, curator of the exhibition.

The title of the exhibition comes from a quote taken from a lecture by Christer Strömholm. He explains that “… for me, working with photographic images is a way of life. When I think of it, and when I look carefully at my images, all of them, each in its particular way, are nothing but self-portraits, a part of my life.” That approach has shaped all photographers represented in the exhibition. Several self-portraits, portraits of friends and some portraits of Christer Strömholm can be found in the selection.

Press release from the Moderna Museet Malmö website


Anna Clarén. 'No title'. From the series 'Holding' 2006


Anna Clarén (Swedish, b. 1972)
No title
From the series Holding
© Anna Clarén



This work might be regarded as a diary documenting my life during a period when I took pictures 24/7, even in the night I let the shutter be wide open, exposing while I was asleep. The people in the pictures are persons that are close to me; parents, my sister, my closest friends, my self and also some people I only met by accident on the street.

In this work I use external, concrete attributes, things and events to describe interior associations, an imaginary reality. A reality which for me is entirely real.

The title of the book is a term derived from psychiatry, which means that each and every child should be entitled to a loving and caring environment by her or his parents. This child will enter life with the feeling of being held. Held by her parents, her self and by life itself.

The one child that for any reason grows up in a family where this love is not possible, will, as an adult, constantly find herself in an endless, desperate search for holding. And in some cases will experience a feeling of falling.

The search for somewhere to hold on to will express itself in various ways; symbiotic love affairs, destructiveness, escaping, a constant feeling of alienation, of being outside.

The book’s story is, in many ways, a self portrait, but deep down inside, human beings are very alike. In our searching, the questions, confusions, we may find a universal strand of humanity; the difference between us lies often in the answers. And therefore, this work is a self portrait with universally human questions/stories.

Anna Clarén. “Holding,” on the Josef Chladek website [Online] Cited 19/03/2021.


Anna Clarén. 'No title'. From the series 'Holding' 2006


Anna Clarén (Swedish, b. 1972)
No title
From the series Holding
© Anna Clarén


Christer Strömholm. 'Hotel Central, Paris' 1951/1981


Christer Strömholm (Swedish, 1918-2002)
Hotel Central, Paris
© Christer Strömholm/Strömholm Estate



Christer Strömholm is one of the great personalities of Swedish photography. Born in Stockholm, he discovered photography via graphic art in the late 1940s. His photographs from this period are hard black-and-white compositions featuring walls, shadows and minimalist settings. During his sojourns in Paris in the 1950s and 60s, he developed a style reminiscent of street photography, and this is also where he produced his famous portraits of transsexuals at Place Blanche. Strömholm also went on numerous photographic expeditions to places around the globe in the early 1960s, including Spain, Japan, India and the USA. Early in his career, he began teaching at Kursverksamheten in Stockholm, and his classes eventually became the legendary Fotoskolan, from which some 1,200 students graduated between 1962 and 1974. Strömholm’s photographs and methods have inspired many generations of Swedish photographers, but he did not become known to the broader public until 1986, with the major exhibition 9 Seconds in My Life at Moderna Museet.

Text from the Lens Culture website [Online] Cited 19/03/2021


Christer Strömholm. 'Hotel Central, Paris (Self-portrait)' 1951/1981


Christer Strömholm (Swedish, 1918-2002)
Hotel Central, Paris (Self-portrait)
© Christer Strömholm/Strömholm Estate


Christer Strömholm. 'No title' 1963/c. 1985


Christer Strömholm (Swedish, 1918-2002)
No title
1963 – c. 1985
© Christer Strömholm/Strömholm Estate


Anders Petersen. 'Marlene' from the series 'Café Lehmitz' 1967-1970/1986


Anders Petersen (Swedish, b. 1944)
From the series Café Lehmitz
© Anders Petersen



“To me, it’s encounters that matter, pictures are much less important.”

“I can’t describe reality; at the most, I can try to capture things that seem to be valid, the way I see them.”

Anders Petersen



JH Engström. 'No title' from the series 'Tout va bien' 2014


J. H. Engström (Swedish, b. 1969)
No title
From the series Tout va bien (Everything is fine)
© JH Engström



Swedish artist JH Engström (born 1969) is an inveterate bookmaker. Most recently, his published works have explored ideas of place and home, including “Sketch of Paris” (Aperture, 2013), “La Résidence” (2010), “From Back Home” (2009) and “CDG/JHE” (2008). After more than a decade of such thematic projects, “Tout Va Bien” returns to the looser, more associative approach of Engström’s critically acclaimed volume “Trying to Dance” (2003). The source for these photographs is nevertheless strongly autobiographical, as well as vividly metaphorical; a reemphasis of the artist’s belief in photography’s potential as visual poetry. The sequencing is highly charged with contrasts: black-and-white images mix with colour; the gentle beauty of coastal rocks clashes with a flash-lit image of the bright, blood-red placentas from the birth of his twins. The book leaves it to the viewer to map his or her own network of meaning from image to image, page to page.

Text from the Aperture website [Online] Cited 19/03/2021


JH Engström. 'No title' from the series 'Tout va bien' 2014


J. H. Engström (Swedish, b. 1969)
No title
From the series Tout va bien (Everything is fine)
© JH Engström



Moderna Museet Malmö
Gasverksgatan 22 in Malmö

Moderna Museet Malmö is located in the city centre of Malmö. Ten minutes walk from the Central station, five minutes walk from Gustav Adolfs torg and Stortorget.

Opening hours:
Tuesday, Thursday – Sunday 11-18
Wednesday 11-21
Mondays closed

Moderna Museet Malmö website


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Exhibition: ‘Christer Strömholm: Les Amies de Place Blanche’ at the International Centre of Photography (ICP), New York

Exhibition dates: 18th May – 2nd September 2012


Christer Strömholm. 'Pepita' 1963


Christer Strömholm (Swedish, 1918-2002)
Gelatin silver print
© Christer Strömholm/Strömholm Estate



It was then – and still is – about obtaining the freedom to choose one’s own life and identity.

Christer Strömholm



These are stunning photographs; they glow with an inner light and energy. With perfect composition and use of chiaroscuro the artist let’s the women speak for themselves – confident, self assured and happy in the life they are leading. Having come out as a gay man myself in 1975, six short years after the Stonewall Riots in New York, I can attest to how difficult and how much prejudice there was against gay men in the early 1970s. Imagine then, being a transexual living in Paris in the early to mid 1960s and the issues that these woman had to deal with.

And yet there is a joyous quality to these photographs, an intimate relationship between people (not just artist and subject), a sense of fondness, friendship and fraternity. There is an intimacy here that transcends documentation. The last photograph in the posting (Gina, 1963, below) is just this wonderful, happy photograph where you just can’t help smiling yourself. There is a lightness here that is at variance with Brassai’s heavy set Parisian nights, that is more sensitive to the subject than Diane Arbus’ thrusting camera and her depiction of transexuals.

As good as the quote by Strömholm is, it is not just the freedom to choose one’s own life and identity, it is the ability to make that choice an informed choice, where you can select from a variety of things, where your preference indicates that your choice is based on one’s values or predilections. Without being informed the decision you may make is not free; if you are uninformed you may be unaware. An informed choice is based upon a clear appreciation and understanding of the facts, implications, and future consequences of any action.

Despite the prejudice and pain these woman would have suffered living an everyday life in the 1960s they have made an informed choice. These are strong, courageous woman and their friend has captured their resolve beautifully.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

Many thankx to the International Centre of Photography for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.


 Christer Strömholm. "Little Christer" 1955


Christer Strömholm (Swedish, 1918-2002)
“Little Christer”
Gelatin silver print
© Christer Strömholm/Strömholm Estate


Christer Strömholm. 'Belinda' 1967


Christer Strömholm (Swedish, 1918-2002)
Gelatin silver print
© Christer Strömholm/Strömholm Estate


Christer Strömholm. 'Soraya and Sonia' 1962


Christer Strömholm (Swedish, 1918-2002)
Soraya and Sonia
Gelatin silver print
© Christer Strömholm/Strömholm Estate


Christer Strömholm. 'Jacky' 1961


Christer Strömholm (Swedish, 1918-2002)
Gelatin silver print
© Christer Strömholm/Strömholm Estate



Raising profound issues about identity, sexuality, and gender, Christer Strömholm: Les Amies de Place Blanche, on view at the International Center of Photography (1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street) May 18 – September 2, 2012, presents 40 photographs, historical publications, and ephemera documenting young transgender males in the heart of Paris’ red-light district in the 1960s.

Arriving in Paris in the late 1950s, Christer Strömholm (Stockholm, 1918 – 2002) settled in Place Blanche, home of the famous Moulin Rouge. There, he befriended and photographed young transsexuals – “ladies of the night” – struggling to live as women and to raise money for sex-change operations. In General Charles de Gaulle’s ultra-conservative France, transvestites were outlaws, regularly abused and arrested by the police for being “men dressed as women outside the period of carnival.” Some of these women had tragic fates. Others, like “Nana” and “Jacky,” eventually fulfilled their destiny and led happy lives as women. Living alongside them for 10 years, Strömholm photographed his subjects in their hotel rooms, in bars, and in the streets of Paris.

“These intimate portraits and Brassaï-like lush night scenes form a magnificent, dark, and moving photo album, a vibrant tribute to these girls,” said ICP Curatorial Assistant Pauline Vermare, who organised the exhibition. These photographs were first published in Sweden in 1983, and the book Vännerna från Place Blanche (“The Girlfriends of Place Blanche”) – which will be reissued this year in French and English – quickly sold out, becoming a cult classic and solidifying Strömholm as one of the great photographers of the 20th century. The work for this exhibition is provided by the Strömholm Estate in Stockholm, the Marvelli Gallery in New York, and from the collection of Alice Zimet.

As Strömholm wrote in 1983: “These are images of people whose lives I shared and whom I think I understood. These are images of women – biologically born as men – that we call ‘transsexuals.’ As for me, I call them ‘my friends of Place Blanche.’ It was then – and still is – about obtaining the freedom to choose one’s own life and identity.”

Christer Strömholm is a lesser known artist, but may well be the father figure of Scandinavian photography. A prominent artist and winner of the prestigious Hasselblad Award in 1997, he was also an influential teacher and the mentor to some of today’s leading Swedish photographers including J.H. Engström, Anders Petersen, and Lars Tunbjörk. Highly revered in his native Sweden since the 1980s, he is still little known outside of Europe. This exhibition is the first presentation of Strömholm’s work in an American museum, and features his most powerful and acclaimed body of work.

Press release from the International Centre of Photography website


Christer Strömholm (Swedish, 1918-2002) 'Nana' 1959


Christer Strömholm (Swedish, 1918-2002)
Gelatin silver print
© Christer Strömholm/Strömholm Estate


Christer Strömholm. 'Sonia, Hôtel Pierrots' 1962


Christer Strömholm (Swedish, 1918-2002)
Sonia, Hôtel Pierrots
Gelatin silver print
© Christer Strömholm/Strömholm Estate


Christer Strömholm. 'Suzannah and Sylvia' 1962


Christer Strömholm (Swedish, 1918-2002)
Suzannah and Sylvia
Gelatin silver print
© Christer Strömholm/Strömholm Estate


Christer Strömholm. 'Gina' 1963


Christer Strömholm (Swedish, 1918-2002)
Gelatin silver print
© Christer Strömholm/Strömholm Estate



International Center of Photography
1133 Avenue of the Americas at 43rd Street
New York NY 10036
Phone: 212 857 0045

Opening hours:
Tuesday – Sunday 11am – 7pm
Closed Mondays

International Center of Photography website


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Exhibition: ‘Another Story’ at Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Exhibition dates: February 2011 – end of 2011


A posting from an exhibition highlighting a collection of over 100,000 photographs – how lucky are they!

Many thankx to the Moderna Museet for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting. Please click on the photographs for a larger version of the image.


Another Story: Possessed by the Camera

Annika von Hausswolff. 'I Am the Runway of Your Thoughts' 2008


Annika von Hausswolff (Swedish, b. 1967)
I Am the Runway of Your Thoughts
© Annika von Hausswolff


Andreas Gursky. 'Bibliothek' 1999


Andreas Gursky (German, b. 1955)
© Andreas Gursky/BUS 2011


Candida Höfer. 'The Louvre in Paris X 2005 - the caryatid hall' 2005


Candida Höfer (German, b. 1944)
The Louvre in Paris X 2005 – the caryatid hall
© Candida Höfer/BUS 2011


Thomas Ruff. 'Häuser Nummer 9' 1989


Thomas Ruff (German, b. 1958)
Häuser Nummer 9
© Thomas Ruff/BUS 2011


Cindy Sherman. 'Untitled' 2008


Cindy Sherman (American, b. 1954)
© Courtesy of the Artist and Metro Pictures



In 2011, Moderna Museet’s new directors, Daniel Birnbaum and Ann-Sofi Noring, will launch a new presentation of the collection. Another Story gives a fresh angle on art history, based on works from the Moderna Museet collection. We will start by focusing on photography, which will gradually be given a more prominent position, only to fill the entire exhibition of the permanent collection this autumn.

If you want an art collection to develop and stay alive, it can’t remain static. You need to present it in new ways and look at it from new angles. That may sound obvious, but it is not that common. In 2011, Moderna Museet will take a radical step, with Another Story. Photography from the Moderna Museet Collection. This is possibly the most extreme re-hanging of the collection undertaken in the history of the museum.

There is a growing interest in photography today, as proven by the panoply of exhibitions, fairs and festivals throughout the world. And this is hardly surprising. Nowadays, practically everyone is a photographer, at the very least snapping pictures with the camera built into most mobiles.

Moderna Museet’s collection of photography, ranging from 1840 to the present day, is one of the finest in Europe, featuring many of the most prominent names in photo history and comprising more than 100,000 photographs. The collection provides a historic background to the art of photography, and now we are sharing this with all our visitors. Moreover, several magnificent private donations have recently enriched the collection with works by famous artists practising in the field of photography.

Moderna Museet has one of Europe’s finest collections of photography, ranging from 1840 to the present day. Many of the most famous names in photographic history are represented, and the collection comprises more than 100,000 works. The re-hanging of the permanent collection exhibition will be done in three stages. In February, we will open the first part, Another Story: Possessed by the Camera, which presents contemporary photography-based art. Just before summer, we open Another Story: See the World!, presenting the period 1920-1980. This autumn, finally, we look at the early days of photography. Another Story: Written in Light presents the pioneers of photography from 1840 to the first three decades of the 20th century. In autumn 2011 and for the rest of the year, the entire permanent collection exhibition will consist of photography and photo-based art.

Text from the Moderna Museet website [Online] Cited 22/07/2011 no longer available online


Another Story: See the World!

Aleksandr Rodchenko (1891-1956) 'Sjukov-masten, radiomast i Moskva' 1929


Aleksandr Rodchenko (1891-1956)
Sjukov-masten, radiomast i Moskva
© Aleksandr Rodtjenko


August Sander. 'Die elegante Frau - Sekrutärin beine WDR' 1927 /c. 1975


August Sander (German, 1876-1964)
Die elegante Frau – Sekrutärin beine WDR
1927 / c. 1975
© August Sander/BUS 2011


Christer Strömholm. 'Barcelona' 1959


Christer Strömholm (Swedish, 1918-2002)
© Christer Strömholm/Bildverksamheten Strömholm


Christer Strömholm. 'Hiroshima' 1963/1981


Christer Strömholm (Swedish, 1918-2002)
© Christer Strömholm/Bildverksamheten Strömholm


Irving Penn. 'Frozen Foods with String Beans, New York, 1977'


Irving Penn (American, 1917-2009)
Frozen Foods with String Beans, New York, 1977
© Irving Penn Foundation


Irving Penn. 'Mouth (for L'Oréal), New York, 1986'


Irving Penn (American, 1917-2009)
Mouth (for L’Oréal), New York, 1986
© Irving Penn Foundation


Another Story: Written in Light

Julia Margaret Cameron. 'The Mountain Nymph, Sweet Liberty' 1866


Julia Margaret Cameron (British, born India, 1815-1879)
The Mountain Nymph, Sweet Liberty
© Julia Margaret Cameron



Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Moderna Museet is ten minutes away from Kungsträdgården, and twenty minutes from T-Centralen or Gamla Stan. Walk past Grand Hotel and Nationalmuseum on Blasieholmen, opposite the Royal Palace. After crossing the bridge to Skeppsholmen, continue up the hill. The entrance to Moderna Museet and Arkitekturmuseet is on the left-hand side.

Opening hours:
Tuesday 10 – 20
Wednesday 10 – 18
Thursday 10 – 18
Friday 10 – 20
Saturday 11 – 18
Sunday 11 – 18
Closed Mondays

Moderna Museet website


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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, an art and cultural memory archive, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

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