Fifties Friday: The uniqueness of banality: Gunnar Lundh

Fifties Friday: The uniqueness of banality: Gunnar Lundh

img. Malmö museer CC BY via Europeana.

From the curatorial effort of the EU project 1950s in Europe Kaleidoscope, every week on Friday there’s a new set of carefully selected photographs to be explored on the project’s website.

Today we present “The uniqueness of banality: Gunnar Lundh”.

Gunnar Lundh (1898-1960) stands as an icon in Swedish photographic history. Trained as a portrait photographer in Copenhagen and Berlin, Lundh found new inspiration and new vantage points in 1927, after having discovered the potential of the small Leica camera with 35mm film. At a time when many of his colleagues were still using unpractical folding cameras and glass plates, Lundh was able to adopt a more dynamic and vivid approach to photography. This 1950s selection from an oeuvre consisting of over 300.000 photographs in total, shows the master to his strengths: impressive portraits, depicting everyday people in an almost statuesque, revering way; cityscapes that seem to be as much alive as they were almost 70 years ago; a most interesting use of light and shadow, depth and detail, and multi-plan composition; and a poetic quality that makes even the most banal of scenes into a work of art. This set of images carries an open license, so Lundh’s gems are free for you to be shared, mixed and reused!


Fifties in Europe Kaleidoscope is co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility Programme of the European Union, under GA n. INEA/CEF/ICT/A2017/1568496
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