Group 2
Photograph by Hans Malmberg from the series Korean War

Hans Malmberg, From the series Korean War, 1950 © Hans Malmberg

29.10 2019

War and Peace – Photography and Sculpture

The wars that came head to tail in the first half of the 20th century impacted deeply on people’s lives and the course of history. Photojournalism saw its breakthrough, changing the way news was communicated to the general public. In the room in the collection titled “War and Peace” you can see photographs which were taken during this time, together with sculptures from the postwar period. Read the introduction to this collection presentation.

War and people’s daily lives in photojournalism

The wars that came head to tail in the first half of the 20th century impacted deeply on people’s lives and the course of history. Photojournalism saw its breakthrough, changing the way news was communicated to the general public. Newspapers and magazines such as ”Berliner Illustrierte Zeitung”, ”Life”, ”Look”, ”Paris Match”, ”Vu” and their Swedish counterparts, ”Se” and ”Vi”, commissioned photographs from every corner of the world. The new small-format cameras were easy to travel with and offered more freedom. Photographers were able to get out in the field quickly, to document everything from major, traumatic conflicts to small, everyday events. Some of these photographers, not least the members of the agency Magnum Photos, became legends, and their stories have inspired generations.

Photograph by Hans Malmberg from the series Korean War
Hans Malmberg, No title. From the series Korean War, 1950 © Hans Malmberg

Humanist photography

Around this time, humanist photography began to emerge. The pioneers of this movement were in search of a freer way of photographing, as opposed to practices where the ideal was to arrange, retouch and perfect the image. Life in the streets and cafes came to epitomise this aesthetic, a visual poetry that made photographers, writers and artists take long walks through the city.

The relationship between photography and sculpture

We have countless examples of photographers who lived close to other artists and documented their lives and work. There is an intriguing relationship between photography and sculpture, in that the practitioners of either media often try to capture a moment, a specific event, or an unexpected encounter. After the Second World War, established norms for sculpture began to dissolve. The many tormented, deformed sculptural bodies express agony and grief. Society was suffering a collective existential crisis.

The bronze sculpture L'Hydre [The Hydra] by Germaine Richier
Germaine Richier, L'Hydre [The Hydra], 1954 © Germaine Richier / Bildupphovsrätt 2019
The bronze sculpture La Grande tête [The Large Head] by Jean Fautrier
Jean Fautrier, La Grande tête [The Large Head], 1943 © Jean Fautrier / Bildupphovsrätt 2019

You find the room in the Collection on floor 4

Published 29 October 2019 · Updated 15 November 2019

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