Diane Arbus, Lisette Model and Christer Stromholm belong to a generation of photographers who went out into society and used their cameras as tools for artistic exploration. Taking portraiture as the common denominator, this exhibition brings together a selection of work by each of the three photographers. The selection of Arbus' work will focus on her photographs from the sixties that were included in the first book devoted to her work published by Aperture in 1972. Model emphasis will be on her work in America from the 1940s onwards. Stromholm will primarily be represented by pictures from Paris taken during the 1960s but we are also including a selection of photos from his trips to the USA. This selection highlights the fact that the three photographers had related interests in both their choice of subjects and in the way that they worked. From a Swedish point of view it is an interesting experiment to place Christer Stromholm in an international context with two American women photographers, enabling us to view his work and Swedish history of photography in a new light.
During a relatively brief career, Diane Arbus (1923 - 1971), born in New York, created work in which her encounters with people resulted in a deeply personal style of portraiture. For a number of years in the 1950s she and her husband, Allan Arbus worked together producing fashion and advertising photographs, and commissions from the magazines Vogue and Glamour. Thanks to two Guggenheim awards (1963 and 1966), Arbus was able to undertake projects of her own and for several summers she travelled around in the USA taking photographs on the theme of American rites. Lisette Model (1901 - 1983), born in Vienna, moved to Paris in 1926 where she took up painting and later photography. It was in New York that Model had her most productive years with commissions from fashion and photo magazines and even a number of exhibitions. She developed a personal style working with portraits of blind people, nightclub artistes and anonymous, often rather shabbily dressed people that she met on the streets of New York. She also produced portraits of artists and musicians. Christer Stromholm (1918 - 2002), born in Stockholm, is one of Swedish photography's major personalities.
Stromholm's pictures from the early fifties consist of sharply focussed black and white compositions of walls, shadows and clear-cut interiors. While periodically living in Paris during the 1950s and 1960s, he developed a style more in tune with street-photography and it was at this time that he made his famous portraits of transvestites at the Place Blanche.