Moody and mesmerizing in equal measure, Gunnar Smoliansky’s photography has graduated with honours from the Swedish school of artful melancholy. Born in 1933, Smoliansky was entering his formative years as Ingmar Bergman was launching his film career, and not only is there a lot of his countryman’s angst ridden gloom in his pictures, but a strong sense of the cinematic, too.
Shot in black and white (obviously), there is often little in the way of context to place the images in time or location. Rather, Smoliansky uses subtler methods to reel in the viewer, such as unusual camera angles, half obscured reflections and ambiguous poses. He loves the challenge of the mundane, making “something out of nothing” and found most interest in scenes which were “almost entirely impossible to photograph”. Pop a Valium and head over to Michael Hoppen Gallery, London, to see this career retrospective, on show until August 30th.