Anders Petersen

Swedish, 1944–present

Petersen is an influential Swedish documentary photographer who has carried the legacy of his teacher and mentor, Christer Strömholm’s spirit with a tangible impact on the younger generation in his turn.

In the words of Christian Caujolle:

“[ … ] Petersen remains attached to humans, to their mystery, their solitude and to the deep and complex feelings he was able to highlight in his previous works, both at the psychiatric hospital and in prison. To achieve this deep ‘Truth’, he lives with those he photographs. His dilemma can be summed up in a short sentence: ‘I know that in order to make good photographs, to be at the right distance, I must have one foot inside and one foot outside. My problem is that I always end up having both feet in!’

This started a long time ago, when in 1967 he settled for three years in a bistro in Hamburg, the Café Lehmnitz, haunted by sailors on a spree, prostitutes, bums and alcoholics. Here, people drink, dance, love, cry, sing. And Anders lives, taking photos on the fly and picturing the disturbing drift of the humanity he loves so deeply. And he shows, in situations of marginalisation, a rare intensity of feelings.

Lost poet in an often dark world, reasonable in its own way, flirting with excesses, Anders Petersen is constantly taking risks.”

Petersen is represented in over twenty significant museums and galleries around the world such as Moderna Museet Stockholm, Hasselblad Center Gothenburg, Fotografiska Stockholm, Museum of Modern Art New York, Center Georges Pompidou Paris, Bibliothèque national Paris, Museum of Fine Arts Houston among others. Petersen has exhibited regularly since 1969 with separate and group exhibitions world wide. Petersen is a multiple award winning artist and has produced about thirty books. He is a widely used lecturer and teacher of photo education, photo festivals and workshops around Europe and the USA.