[ BOOK LIVES ] Lars Tunbjörk: Retrospective

Lars Tunbjörk Retrospective
Max Ström
ISBN 978-9171264442

I’ve been a longtime admirer of the late Swedish photographer Lars Tunbjörk.

For reasons beyond me, it took a while for me to add this retrospective to my collection.

Although I already have quite a few of his books, this volume is useful in contextualizing his artistic pursuits in a chronological order. For those unfamiliar with Tunbjörk’s work, this will be a good introduction.

But what’s even more wonderful in this books are the important texts from Maud NycanderGöran Odbratt and Kathy Ryan.

While Nycander’s introduction is very short, the words of Tunbjörk’s partner in life and work are very important in understanding how this book was born.

Believe it or not, Tunbjörk had intended for this project to be a mid-career check of his achievements, not a retrospective. That shows you the humility the man possessed.

Odbratt, a fellow photographer and great pal, pieced together an insightful biography of his good friend, cleverly using the projects he had done as a framework.

Last but not least, it is lovely to read Kathy Ryan effuses about one of her favorite photographers.

One of Tunbjörk’s most famous projects was Office and looking at them makes me wonder how he would have photographed the empty cubicles during this pandemic. Actually he already did.

But if there is a spread I must recommend, it must be the one of Chinese shoppers in Ikea. No words needed here.