Hans Gedda, Angela Davis, ca 1972.Cecilia Heisser/Nationalmuseum ©Hans Gedda
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN —The Nationalmuseum recently held a retrospective exhibition of works by photographer Hans Gedda, one of Sweden’s leading portrait photographers. Featuring almost 140 works, the exhibition covers the period from the 1950s to the present day. Included in the exhibition are Gedda’s celebrated portraits of Angela Davis, Andy Warhol and Nelson Mandela which are appearing alongside famous Swedes such as Olof Palme, Birgit Nilsson and Jonas Gardell. Also incorporated in the show are nature studies, still lifes and semi-documentary images.
Gedda began showing keen interest in photography at a very young age. During his student days, he worked with Teddy Aarni in Eskilstuna and later was assistant to Rolf Winquist at Ateljé Uggla. Gedda’s photography career advanced in 1967 with the portraits of Sara Lidman and Tove Jansson. Since then, his professional photography career has progressed with lots of photography jobs coming his way from around the globe. Gedda has worked as a commercial photographer all his life.
In his works Gedda explores mix portrait photography with semi-documentary photojournalism. Gedda’s black and white photography captuers his models intimate moments. His circus images of clowns commisioned by Cirkus Scott are particularly funny and dramatic. One of his most innovative works is a portrait of King Carl XVI Gustaf. His photographs of Young Somali Refugee, 1992 and Somali Refugee Family, 1992 are very touching. They are reminders of a devastating moment in history, and the consequences conflicts on children. Gedda’s photograph of Nelson Mandela taken shortly after he was released from jail has become even more iconic with the passing of this great African leader. Here are some of his works displayed at Nationalmuseum, Konstakademien, Fredsgatan 12, Stockholm.