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GERRY JOHANSSON – Photography
5.4 – 15.6 2014


Gerry Johansson is a representative of classic black-and-white photography. In the course of his artistic career he has consistently photographed cities and landscapes, resulting in a number of exhibitions and books. Looking back upon his photographic works we encounter both urban environments and the countryside in various geographical locations. Johansson is more interested in the impressions left by humans than in humans themselves. Using unadorned and thoughtful imagery, he describes everyday life, and things that could easily pass unnoticed.

Gerry Johansson never arranges his images. Instead, he discovers a city or landscape, wanders around, and tries to convey a fair sense of the place through his photographs. His images are clearly carefully composed. The photographs are often taken at eye level, with a constant focal length, and the processing is always done with analogue methods in the darkroom. This exhibition showcases three series: Ulan Bator, Pontiac and Småland.

Gerry Johansson created Ulan Bator in 2009 after having seen the documentary film Letter from Siberia (1957) by Chris Marker. In the film the same sequence featuring a street corner recurs several times and it aroused Johansson’s interest. He decides to search for the street corner and goes to Mongolia. Once there, he discovers that the film was never made in Ulan Bator, but he still decides to do one of his daily photographic walks. He discovers Ulan Bator by wandering half a day in one direction and then returning. Johansson seeks out images that can convey a mood and describe something about a place.

Pontiac from 2011 depicts a small town that has been hard hit by the global recession. Pontiac is part of the proud history of the automotive industry in Michigan and Detroit, and was long regarded as being one of the better-off places in the United States. In the wake of the car industry’s crisis, Johansson’s pictures instead depict deserted industrial landscapes and empty premises.

Småland is a work in progress that began in 1990. Gerry Johansson likes to focus on a single geographical area and he prefers small localities to large ones. He has visited and photographed more than 1,000 places in Sweden and adds new ones every year. Småland is fascinating because people have many points of view about the landscape, based both on knowledge and prejudices. He says that it is interesting to confirm or question these opinions in photographs.

Gerry Johansson (b. 1945) studied graphic design at Konstindustriskolan in Göteborg (now the School of Design and Crafts at the University of Gothenburg) and then worked as a graphic designer. He was one of the founders of the magazines Aktuell Fotografi and Fotografiskt Album as well as the photographic book series Aktuell fotolitteratur. In the mid-1980s he became a full-time freelance photographer. He had his first solo exhibition at Moderna Museet in Stockholm in 1982 and was most recently exhibited at Malmö Konsthall in 1992.

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Welcome to the opening Saturday April 5, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

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