Anders Petersen (photographer)

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Anders Petersen
Anders Petersen in 2014.jpg

Anders Petersen (born 1944)[1] is a Swedish photographer,[2] based in Stockholm. He makes intimate and personal documentary-style black and white photographs.[2]

Petersen has published more than 20 books.


Petersen studied photography under Christer Strömholm in Sweden from 1966[2] to 1967. He is noted for his intimate and personal documentary-style black-and-white photographs.[2]

For three years beginning in 1967 he photographed the late-night regulars (prostitutes, transvestites, drunks, lovers and drug addicts) in Café Lehmitz, a bar in Hamburg, Germany. The resulting photobook was first published in 1978 by Schirmer/Mosel in Germany. Café Lehmitz has since become regarded as a seminal book in the history of European photography.[3] One of the photographs from this series was used as the cover art for Tom Waits' album Rain Dogs.[4]

Petersen's first book Gröna Lund (Green Grove), which was published in 1973, is set in the amusement park of Gröna Lund situated on an island.

In 1970 Petersen co-founded SAFTRA, the Stockholm group of photographers, with Kenneth Gustavsson. At the same time, he taught at Christer Strömholm's school. He has been director of the Göteborg School of Photography and Film.[5] He began to photograph for magazines, and continued his personal photo diary work, which continues to this day. He has photographed for extensive periods of time in prisons, mental asylums, and elderly care homes.

Petersen has had solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe and Asia.[6] in 2019, he held a commissioned exhibition at the Liljevalchs konsthall.[7]

Statements by Petersen about his work[edit]

"The people at the Café Lehmitz had a presence and a sincerity that I myself lacked. It was okay to be desperate, to be tender, to sit all alone or share the company of others. There was a great warmth and tolerance in this destitute setting."

"To me, it's encounters that matter, pictures are much less important."

"I can't describe reality; at the most, I can try to capture things that seem to be valid, the way I see them."


  • Gröna Lund = Green Grove.
    • Stockholm: Fyra Förläggare, 1973. Text by Arnaud Cottebrune.
    • Villejuif, France: Aman Iman, 2009. ISBN 978-2-9533910-2-2. Edition of 300 copies.
    • Villejuif, France: Aman Iman, 2013. ISBN 979-10-92727-02-9.
    • Pyramyd Editions, 2013. French-language version.
  • Café Lehmitz.
    • Munich: Schirmer/Mosel, 1978.
    • French edition, 1979.
    • Stockholm: ETC Förlags AB, 1982. ISBN 91-86168 04 5. Text by Roger Andersson.
  • Fängelse = Prison. ETC; Stockholm: Norstedts Förlag, 1984. ISBN 978-9118441325. Text by Leif G. W. Persson.
  • Rågång till Kärleken = On the line of love. Stockholm: Norstedts Förlag, 1991. ISBN 91-1-913062-7. Text by Göran Odbratt.
  • Ingen har sett allt = Nobody has seen it all. 1995.
  • Du Mich Auch = Same to you. Stockholm: Journal, 2002. ISBN 91-973629-2-1
  • Close/Distance. 2002.
  • Roma, a diary. 2005.
  • Sète # 08. France: Images En Manœuvres Editions - CétàVOIR, 2008. ISBN 978-2-8499-5118-7
  • French kiss Stockport, Cheshire: Dewi Lewis Publishing, 2008.
  • Dear Diary. 2009.
  • From Back Home. Stockholm: Max Ström, 2009. ISBN 978-9171261649. With JH Engström. Edited by Greger Ulf Nilson.
  • City Diary. 2009. In three volumes.
  • Strange Evidence. Self-published / Createspace, 2012. ISBN 978-1456563738. Contains the images from the exhibition Mark Cohen: Strange Evidence curated by Peter Barbiere at the Philadelphia Museum of Art 2010/2011.
  • Rome, a diary 2012. Rome: Punctum, 2012. Edition of 40 copies.
  • Soho. London: Mack and The Photographers' Gallery, 2012. ISBN 978-1-907946-22-6.
  • Veins. With Jacob Aue Sobol. Stockport, Cheshire: Dewi Lewis, 2013. ISBN 978-1-907893-45-2.
  • Rome Collected photographs from three trips to Rome in 1984, 2005 and 2012. Curated by Marco Delogu in collaboration with Flavio Scollo.
    • Rome. Paperback. Köln: Walther König; Rome: Punctum, 2014. ISBN 978-3863354619.
    • Rome. Hardback. Köln: Walther König; Rome: Punctum, 2014. Edition of 150 copies with signed print.


General references[edit]

  • Anders Petersen, Photo Poche #98, published 2004, Actes Sud. ISBN 2-7427-4964-0
  • Les Recontres d'Arles Photographie 2006, published 2006, Actes Sud.


  1. ^ "Anders Petersen". The Museum of Modern Art. Retrieved 16 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d Sean O'Hagan (journalist) (4 November 2013). "Veins: a Scandinavian photobook full of blood, nudity and human strangeness". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  3. ^ "lens culture photographer interview: Anders Petersen". LensCulture. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  4. ^
  5. ^ "Anders Petersen - BMW- Paris Photo Prize 2010". 25 July 2010. Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  6. ^ "Sunday Salon". Archived from the original on 30 October 2010. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  7. ^ "liljevalchs – Anders Petersen – Stockholm". (in Swedish). Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  8. ^ The Netherlands (28 January 2005). "Noorderlicht / Photogallery / Café Lehmitz". Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  9. ^ "Anders Petersen". HUH. Magazine. Retrieved 1 December 2010.
  10. ^ Deutsche Börse Photography Prize 2007 Archived 14 May 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Accessed 15 March 2013
  11. ^ [1] Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie, Germany. Accessed 14 May 2014.
  12. ^ Les Rencontres d'Arles Rencontres d'Arles: expositions, stages photo / exhibitions, photo workshops Rencontres d'Arles, Arles, France. Accessed 14 May 2014.

External links[edit]