Autumn 2022 brought a major exhibition of Christer Strömholm’s photographs taken in Paris in the 1940s, 50s and 60s. The main focus was on Strömholm’s many portraits of Swedish and international artists and leading cultural figures, but there were also some unfamiliar images of contemporary Paris.
Long considered one of Sweden’s most significant photographers, Christer Strömholm is one of the few to have achieved widespread international recognition. The exhibition included portraits of artists such as Alberto Giacometti, Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely, Yves Klein, Olle Bonniér, Bengt Lindström and Torun Bülow-Hübe, and authors such as André Breton, François Mauriac and Paul Andersson. It was curated by Joakim Strömholm in collaboration with Anna Nilsdotter.
Long considered one of the most significant Swedish photographers, Christer Strömholm is among the few to have achieved widespread international recognition. In 1997 he won the prestigious Hasselblad Award.
Strömholm began his artistic career not as a photographer, but as a student of fine art in Dresden and Paris. Aiming to be a painter, he also studied under Isac Grünewald and Otte Sköld in Stockholm.
Continuing his studies after the Second World War at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Strömholm began experimenting with large format cameras and switched to photography as his main medium. In the late 1940s he started creating images inspired by abstract painting, with his interest focused solely on form. Soon, however, he was increasingly turning his attention to the motif, producing images verging on subjective documentary photography. During the same period, working with the journalist Louis Wiznitzer, he produced numerous portraits of Le Corbusier, Fernand Léger, Max Ernst and many other artists.
Strömholm’s most notable works include images documenting the lives of Parisian transsexuals, taken between 1958 and 1968 and published in the book Les amies de Place Blanche. Strömholm also achieved prominence as an educator after setting up the Fotoskolan photography school in Stockholm in 1962, where his own experience, learning and ideas came to influence a long list of photographers.
Christer Strömholm spent many years living and working in Paris, where he collaborated with Pontus Hultén and Lasse Söderberg to document many artists of the early 1960s. The exhibition includes portraits of artists such as Alberto Giacometti, Niki de Saint Phalle, Jean Tinguely, Yves Klein, Olle Bonniér, Bengt Lindström and Torun Bülow-Hübe, and authors such as André Breton, François Mauriac and Paul Andersson.
Exhibition curators: Joakim Strömholm in collaboration with Anna Nilsdotter.