Published by Strandberg Publishing. 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.
PUBLISHER Strandberg Publishing
BOOK FORMAT Hardcover, 9.5 x 12 in. / 308 pgs / 250 color / 50 bw.
PUBLISHING STATUS Pub Date 1/21/2020 Active
DISTRIBUTION D.A.P. Exclusive Catalog: SPRING 2020 p. 96
PRODUCT DETAILS ISBN 9788793604544TRADE List Price: $70.00 CDN $99.00
AVAILABILITY In stock
in stock $70.00
UPS GROUND IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S. FOR CONSUMER ONLINE ORDERS
Published by Errata Editions. Text by Mette Sandbye, Keld Helmer-Petersen, Jeffrey Ladd.
While the rise of color photography as a viable artistic medium has often been credited to the celebrated work of Willam Eggleston and Stephen Shore in the 1970s, their efforts had in fact been preceded by almost two decades by the Danish photographer Keld Helmer-Petersen (born 1920). Helmer-Petersen’s 1948 publication of 122 Colour Photographs stands as an extraordinary accomplishment: inspired by the realism of the Neue Sachlichkeit movement, Helmer-Petersen concentrated on the mundane and the everyday, generating a panoply of geometric abstractions out of curved doorknobs, crates of tomatoes, industrial metal drums and straw-colored buildings against milky blue skies. With this reproduction, accompanied by an essay by historian Mette Sandbye, 122 Colour Photographs can at last assume its proper role as the foundational book that successfully put color photography on the map and brought modernism into Danish photography. Errata Editions' Books on Books series is an ongoing publishing project dedicated to making rare and out-of-print photography books accessible to students and photobook enthusiasts. These are not reprints or facsimiles but complete studies of the original books. Each volume in the series presents the entire content, page for page, of an original master bookwork which, up until now, has been too rare or expensive for most to experience. Through a mix of classic and contemporary titles, this series spans the breadth of photographic practice as it has appeared on the printed page and allows further study of the creation and meanings of these great works of art. Each volume in the series contains illustrations of every page in the original photobook, a new essay by an established writer on photography, production notes about the creation of the original edition and biographical and bibliographical information about each artist.