Sweden’s hottest fashion photographers head west

A quintet of Sweden's most globally respected fashion photographers have fused their art into one hit exhibition, Different Distances, with the curator now shipping the success over to the United States.

Sweden's hottest fashion photographers head west

The work of Denise Grünstein, Julia Hetta, Martina Hoogland Ivanow, Julia Peirone and Elisabeth Toll will move into House of Sweden in Washington D.C. on September 28th. The work, which shows a high degree of cross-breeding between editorial work and fine art, will be shown until December 8th.

“The photographs taken in context with the stories or campaigns of the magazines can be great to see and often very inspiring,” curator Greger Ulf Nilson wrote in an email to The Local, explaining that without the buffer of the pages, many fashion photographs fall flat. But not the ones in the show.

IN PICTURES: Different Distances – Swedish fashion photography heads to Washington, DC

“Are there photographers who explore, stretch, create moods that we can repose in and that might spellbind us? Photographers with huge integrity, who also command the role between closeness and distance?” he asked.

Different Distances was a rip-roaring success both in Paris and Berlin, which explains why organizers Swedish Institute (Svenska institutet) decided to ship it over the pond – first to Washington DC, then on to New York.

“Swedish fashion photography is maybe better than it ever has been, which the success of Different Distances testifies to,” said Swedish Institute spokeswoman Anna Maria Bernitz in a statement.

Paris-based Toll, for example, shoots assignments for French, Russian and German Vogue, as well as Harper’s Bazaar UK, French and Russian Elle, Bon, Icon and Livraison.

Peirone, meanwhile, packs a critical punch at how women are portrayed. Her 2012 book More Than Violet contains portraits of teens on the cusp of womanhood – but they are yawning, scratching, eye-rolling – “The photographs are technically perfect, yet thoroughly imperfect when according to the traditional principles of portraiture,” reads the intro to her canon.

In February, the show will move onto the Aperture gallery in New York City – one of the most respected spaces for photography in the world. The show’s curator Greger Ulf Nilson said it was not intentional to choose only women.

“The pictures speak for themselves, and can stand alone outside the pages of a magazine,” he said.

Ann Törnkvist

Follow The Local on Twitter

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Ten photos that show Sweden is a perfect winter wonderland

We're now well into winter, and these photos are all the proof you need that Sweden is the most incredible place to spend the season. Be prepared for snow, lots of snow.

Ten photos that show Sweden is a perfect winter wonderland
Winter is long in Sweden, so we're lucky that it's at least beautiful to look at. Photo: Per Pixel Peterson/

Winter in Södermalm

With temperatures just above freezing point, Stockholm will have to do without a white Christmas this year. Fortunately, there are still photos like this where Södermalm is covered under a thick white blanket.






A post shared by Stockholm In Pictures ?? (@stockholmfoto) on Dec 22, 2019 at 12:45am PST

Sled dogs

When the first snow falls the dogs are allowed to go out again. In some areas, the sled or snowmobile is the fastest way of transportation. This video shows a journey through winter wonderland. It doesn't get any more wintery than this.






A post shared by Derpy Goose (@si_it_is_moi) on Dec 20, 2019 at 12:29pm PST

Northern Lights

The long, clear nights of winter provide the perfect circumstances to see the Northern Lights. This photo of the natural phenomenon was taken in Jämtland.






A post shared by Linnea (@mattssons.foto) on Dec 22, 2019 at 5:10am PST

Winter lights

Further south, you might be unlikely to see the Aurora but a light spectacle of a different kind awaits. In the darker months, Swedish houses are transformed into richly decorated light shows. The centerpiece of this spectacle is the central Christmas tree. In this photo, you see the Östersund Christmas tree.






A post shared by Visit Östersund (@visitostersund) on Dec 2, 2019 at 12:03am PST

Winter in Lapland

The far north of Sweden is blanketed in snow from October to April. The vast forests such as here in the Arvidsjaur area of ​​Lapland make for beautiful photos.






A post shared by Taigapic Photography (@taigapic) on Dec 2, 2019 at 12:14pm PST

Swedish red-painted houses

The traditional red wooden houses, such as this one in Norrbotten's County, are a perfect place to spend a cosy winter's day.






A post shared by Rin Rinrada (@dineysweet) on Dec 22, 2019 at 5:28pm PST


The northernmost town in Sweden is Kiruna. Here the sun does not rise above the horizon for several weeks of winter. The beautiful Church of Kiruna is an important meeting place for locals during Christmas time.






A post shared by Camp Ripan (@campripan) on Dec 22, 2019 at 11:30am PST

Swedish wildlife

In addition to bears, wolves and moose, reindeers are the kings of Swedish nature. These two were photographed in a snowstorm near Tjautjas in Lapland.






A post shared by Magnus Winbjork Photo (@winbjorkphoto) on Dec 23, 2019 at 12:39am PST

Building a snowman

The vast amounts of snow give an opportunity to make snowballs, snow lanterns and of course snowmen. A lot of time has undoubtedly been spent in building this giant.






A post shared by En gård i lappländska skogen (@hogdagarden) on Dec 22, 2019 at 6:00am PST

The Ice Hotel

Every year in Jukkasjärvi in ​​the north of Sweden a colossal hotel made entirely of ice is built. A night in this unique hotel should surely be on the bucket list of any winter-lover.






A post shared by Hand Luggage Only (@handluggageonly) on Sep 20, 2019 at 9:54am PDT