Keld Helmer-Petersen


After practicing photography from the late 1930s on and working as a camera operator for Danish TV in the early 1950s, Keld Helmer-Petersen (Danish, 1920–2013) studied at ITT’s Institute of Design with Harry Callahan in 1950-51. In 1952 his works were part of Otto Steinert's subjektive fotografie exhibition series. Helmer-Petersen opened his own studio in 1955. Until 1990 he lectured in photography at the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademis in Copenhagen, among other venues. Helmer-Petersen practiced black-and-white as well as color photography and was a pioneer in the latter. His 1948 book 122 Colour Photographs was one of the first publications in this field, showing everyday objects from an entirely new point of view. His art is defined by clarity and closeness to the subject as well as by clear graphic structuring. He concentrated on architecture in his later work.