Gerry Johansson – American Winter
Since the early eighties, Gerry Johansson has made quiet pictures of quiet places, often lying in the shadows of industrial decline. For American Winter, Johansson travelled through semi-deserted towns in Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Wyoming and Colorado, finding as much beauty as there was misery in landscapes cloaked in snow: an isolated church floating in a mottled sea of white; leafless trees lining endless highways leading to nothing; long shadows cast on vernacular architecture in the season’s merciless sun.
In his photographs, time appears to stand still: neighborhoods that once possessed the allure of Art Deco architecture or the glory of bustling Main Streets, are now home to abandoned school buildings and cars parked decades ago. Johansson’s ascetic framing and sensitivity to light lend itself to the scenery and the sense of hopelessness evoked by these neglected places.
In his latest series, the Swedish photographer travels through the midwestern states of America, capturing both the beauty and misery of semi-deserted landscapes cloaked in snow
“For me, it is important not to create a story with the pictures,” says Gerry Johansson. “Normally when you edit you try to sequence the photographs. But for me, it is important that each picture is considered as a single, individual image.”
Watch the 2018 interview here:
Gerry Johansson (b. 1945) is a Swedish photographer who developed an interest in photography during his teen years and moved to New York in the early 1960s. He later studied graphic design at Konstindustriskolan (today the School of Design and Crafts at the University of Gothenburg), working in graphic design for fifteen years. Since the mid-1980s he has worked as a freelance photographer. His first solo exhibition was at the Fotografiska Museet at the Moderna Museet, 1982. Supplement: Deutschland is the final book in the series of geographically focused publications starting with Amerika (1998), Sverige (2005), Kvidinge (2007), Ulan Bator (2009) and Pontiac (2011), Deutschland (2012), Antarktis (2014), Ravenna (2016) and Tokio (2016).