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One Picture at a Time
Södermalm 2002 © Gunnar Smoliansky

Gunnar Smoliansky »

One Picture at a Time

Vintage prints by a Swedish master

Exhibition: 5 Jul – 31 Aug 2013

Michael Hoppen Gallery

124-128 Barlby Road
W10 6BL London

+44 (0)20-73523649


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One Picture at a Time
Saltsjö-Boo 2002 © Gunnar Smoliansky

Gunnar Smoliansky
One Picture at a Time

Vintage prints by a Swedish master.
Exhibited for the first time in the United Kingdom.

“The best milieu for me is one where it is almost entirely impossible to photograph, where you kind of have to make something out of nothing”.

Born on the Swedish island of Gotsby, Gunnar Smoliansky was obsessed with the camera from the age of eighteen when he bought his own Rolleiflex. As with Ingmar Bergman who launched his film career a decade after Smoliansky’s birth, he used his homeland almost exclusively as the subject of his work. Also like Bergman, his work is possessed of a quiet intensity. Gloves suspended from a window, a cloud passing over water, the silhouette of a tree like an ink spill on a white page; all have a latent anxiety, a cinematic anticipation of that which is yet to happen.

One Picture at a Time
Stockholm 1977 © Gunnar Smoliansky

While imbued with a Swedish melancholy Smoliansky’s work is also part of a broader European photojournalistic tradition. As with the work of André Kertész, his eye distils its subject. Form and line are used economically while unorthodox camera angles and aerial views render the subject abstract. In an age of destination photography where the exoticism of the subject often defines the photographer it is refreshing to find an artist constantly finding the extraordinary within the ordinary of their everyday.

Renowned within his own country we are delighted to be introducing Gunnar Smoliansky’s work to a wider European audience.

The Michael Hoppen Gallery was founded in 1992 in the heart of Chelsea, London. Michael Hoppen Contemporary followed in 2000, creating one of Europe’s largest collections of photography. The gallery specialises in 19th and 20th century vintage photography and contemporary photographic art.