Sweden’s hottest fashion photographers head west

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.

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

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