Promenade Pictures collects a suite of humble yet profound pictures taken by Gunnar Smoliansky in the 1970s and '80s during long walks throughout Stockholm and its surrounds. The figure of the flâneur in literature and art history is often a self-indulgent one, but Smoliansky rejects any hint of decadence. His sole concern is to discover the modest abstractions of the everyday: the fluid lines of a gnarled tree trunk; the graphic shapes of streets, shadows, stairs and tiles; the delicate landscape of crumpled bed sheets. Smoliansky's vision is as patient as it is single-minded: he stubbornly draws out and refines the geometric beauty of objects we would otherwise miss.
Smoliansky created these photos, as all of his work, with an analog camera and developed the prints in his own darkroom. In these pictures he lays particular emphasis on the painterly tonalities of the prints, from warm sepia to cool black and white, in order to recreate variations of daylight. This new Steidl edition of Promenade Pictures is an expanded version of a smaller book, originally published by Moderna Museet in Stockholm in 1986.
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