Published by Steidl/GUN. Edited by Greger Ulf Nilson.
This book contains more than 400 pictures of Swedish photographer Gunnar Smoliansky’s (born 1933) hands—each a spontaneous composition crafted by the photographer in his traditional darkroom.
Some pictures are deceptively simple, hardly recognizable abstractions; others are realistic, revealing even the texture of Smoliansky’s palm; while others still are almost violent inky overlappings. By bypassing the tool of the camera and reinterpreting the photogram, Smoliansky revisits one of the earliest means of photographic picture-making and creates a gestural space between photography and drawing. I don’t know what it was that made me start on these pictures, he ponders. Always after the end of the working day … What I did was to open a box in darkroom lighting and take out some papers between my thumb and my index finger. Then the work continued in ordinary room lighting. I numbered the papers, all of which are presented here in the book.
Published by Steidl/GUN. Edited by Greger Ulf Nilson. Text by Joanna Persman.
Promenade Pictures collects a suite of humble yet profound pictures taken by Gunnar Smoliansky (born 1933) in the 1970s and ’80s during long walks throughout Stockholm and its surrounds.
His aim was to discover the modest abstractions of the everyday—the fluid lines of a gnarled tree trunk; the graphic shapes of streets, shadows, stairs and tiles; the delicate landscape of crumpled bed sheets.
Smoliansky created these photos, as all of his work, with an analog camera and developed the prints in his own darkroom. In these pictures he lays particular emphasis on the painterly tonalities of the prints, from warm sepia to cool black and white, in order to re-create variations of daylight. This new Steidl edition of Promenade Pictures is an expanded version of a smaller book, originally published by Moderna Museet in Stockholm in 1986.