Diary

Gunnar Smoliansky

Gunnar Smoliansky is one of Sweden’s major photographers. He was born in 1933 in Visby, on the island of Gotland, and has devoted himself to photography since the early 1950s. Smoliansky has been an independent artist since the 1970s, working almost exclusively with the photographic image. His oeuvre is unique, although conscious of its place in the history of photography. He became acknowledged for his photography through his early independent work, and a career that led him to work as a photographer’s assistant and attend night school under Christer Strömholm. Between 1956 and 1963 he was an industrial photographer.

Gunnar Smoliansky works exclusively in black and white, and always develops his photographs himself. Throughout his career, he has transformed his photographed motifs into completed photos in the darkroom. Stockholm is the main focus of Smoliansky’s photographic world, particularly the areas of Södermalm and Saltsjö-Boo, the two parts of the city he has lived and worked in for most of his life. From a geographic point of view, the photographs of Gunnar Smoliansky are quite restricted in range. This has not, however, kept him from being regarded as one of the world’s great photographers.

The images here are all excerpted from Gunnar Smoliansky’s Diary, a selection of material Gunnar worked with and methodically printed during the 1980s. Some of the material was also exhibited at the time – at Moderna, Lunds Konsthall, and in galleries including Babar and Lido. These are the prints that consolidated his position as a major photographer.

Jäger Arén

The Break-up of the Ice
When Poets Write Novels