Kenneth Gustavsson

Swedish, 1946–2009

Gustavsson’s photographs are characterized by a strong personal expression. With tireless consistency, he sought his inner visions in urban environments such as New York, Berlin and Paris. His exceptional talent for creating everyday magic makes him timeless and always topical. The eighties were Gustavsson’s most creative period. His photographs from Belfast are an extraordinary visual interpretation of conditions in a city wracked by terror and violence.

The series makes no claims other than being a deeply personal account and leaves beholders to use their imagination and make their own associations. The Magic Bar is one of Gustavsson’s most famous photographs. The door of the pub in Belfast has been open for nearly forty years, and its allure has not faded over time. He never went inside the bar himself; he was an observer on the outside, noting the peculiarities of life.

The work in the darkroom was very important for Gustavsson and the softly focused and subtle, muted prints from the 1990s have become his signature.