Fragments of a City. Chicago Photographs. Photographs by Keld Helmer-Peteresen. Hans Reitzel, Copenhagen, 1960. Unpaged. Octavo (small size). First edition. Stiff photo-illustrated wrappers. Cloth spine with tiny printed label. Black-and-white reproductions.
Keld-Helmer Petersen was the subject of a 2006 retrospective at London's Rocket Gallery.
Read Martin Parr's interview with him HERE
Petersen appeared in the second of Otto Steinert's 'Subjektive fotografie' exhibitions. Now, he is best known for the pioneering book of early color photography 122 Colour Photographs (1948). Several years after that publication he traveled to the States on a American-Scandinavian Foundation grant. While here he, attended night classes at the Chicago Institute of Design, where Siskind, Callahan, and Ishimoto were among his teachers and colleagues. His work there was in black-and-white. He explains in his interview with Parr,
"Black and white came out of Chicago. There wasn’t very much color really--it was gray, like the outskirts of London. Then you had this fantastic number of fire escapes, water towers, wires all over the place, bridges, elevated railroads going through the city. Looking up, there’d be patches of light, wonderful patterns. There was always a bleak white sky in Chicago, pollution, of course. There was no problem getting contrast. So using contrasting fine-grain film and developing it, and printing on contrasting paper, you got something that immediately had to be black and white. Chicago, the fantastic skyline, that absolutely triggered me off — and ended up as the book Fragments of a City."
Scarce in this condition! Just a touch of rubbing; otherwise a crisp, Fine+ copy.