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Keld Helmer-Petersen: Photographs 1941–2013
Introduction by Mette Sandbye. Text by Finn Thrane. Interview by Martin Parr.
Seven decades of Keld Helmer-Petersen’s quietly pioneering abstract color photography
Denmark’s best-known photographer Keld Helmer-Petersen (1920–2013) published his first photobook, 122 Colour Photographs, in 1948. His work was immediately notable for its inventive composition, which turned landscapes and buildings into abstract patterns, and for the photographer’s embrace of color at a time when only black-and-white photography was considered serious. When Life magazine reproduced several pages from the book in 1949, Helmer-Petersen’s vision found a wide, international audience for the first time.
Helmer-Petersen’s style was experimental modernism tempered by a lyrical simplicity and a sense of keen, quiet observation. By isolating details and compressing visual space, the photographer turned the real world into vibrant, graphic pattern. “The pictures aim at illustrating nothing whatever beyond the fact that we are surrounded by many beautiful and exciting things,” Helmer-Petersen said. “And that there can be a great deal of pleasure in spotting them and capturing their beauty by means of color photography.”
Keld Helmer-Petersen: Photographs 1941–2013 offers a full retrospective of the photographer’s masterful work over the course of seven decades. Each chapter is introduced with a short text by Helmer-Petersen himself, and the publication concludes with an interview with the photographer conducted by Martin Parr.
Featured image is reproduced from 'Keld Helmer-Petersen: Photographs 1941–2013.'
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FROM THE ARTBOOK BLOG
CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 1/27/2020
Originally published in Keld Helmer-Petersen's groundbreaking 1948 photobook, 122 Farvefotografier, this remarkable early color photograph is reproduced from Strandberg Publishing's new monograph on the Danish photographer. Spanning 1941–2013, the year of Helmer-Petersen's death, this book is a revelation. "Helmer-Petersen's artistic career was about discovering new meanings, sensory experiences and images in all the familiar things with which we surround ourselves," Mette Sandbye writes. "His gaze, conveyed through the camera, captures shapes, structures and surfaces that we generally do not notice or attach importance to, but which he makes us look at in new ways. He sought for the abstract—or we may simply call it 'the image'—in whatever concrete reality was close at hand, and in that sense his oeuvre is also a study and refinement of photography's potential as a graphic, artistic mode of expression…" continue to blog
USD $70.00 | CAN $99
Pub Date: 1/21/2020
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