Keld Helmer-Petersen ‘Photographs 1941-2013’

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Keld Helmer-Petersen, Photographs 1941-1995 provides a retrospective view of the long career of the photographer Keld Helmer-Petersen.

His style is modernistic and experimental with a lyrical simplicity. It captures the beauty of his immediate surroundings, often turning the motifs that fascinate his eyes and mind into graphic structures. His use of colour is masterly, and the landscapes and portraits possess a quiet, simple beauty.

This edition includes a new introduction, Developing a New Eye: Form, Structure, Surface, by Danish Professor of Photography Studies Mette Sandbye, and an essay by the former head of the Museum of Photographic Art in Odense, Finn Thrane. Every chapter has a short introduction by the photographer himself and his close friend and fellow photographer, Jens Frederiksen, who has contributed with the text Black Noise to this revised edition. Finally, the book contains an interview with Keld Helmer-Petersen by British photographer Martin Parr. 

Keld Helmer-Petersen, Photographs 1941-1995 is an updated reissue of Keld Helmer-Petersen. Photographs 1941-1995 (2007).

Specifications:   Strandberg Publishing ・ 2019 ・ Hardcover ・ 24,5 x 30,5 cm. / 304 pages ・ English ・ 978-87-93604-54-4

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.”

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