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Anders Petersen

Color Lehmitz

A grainy black-and-white photograph of a man with a cigarette, looking at a woman with short hair and bangs

Spotlighting the artist’s acclaimed series Café Lehmitz – a raw, unfettered look at late 1960s Hamburg, Germany – the exhibition includes never-before-seen prints, contact sheets, and hand-written notes by the artist.

Café Lehmitz was a bar in Hamburg, on a street near the port, with over 25 brothels open around the clock. The café was a place of survival, where 23 years old Anders was accepted and invited to capture candid moments of the café’s regulars. The exhibition gives an exclusive look into his artistic process, as he sorted through, edited, and selected images during the past 50 years.

The viewer can almost smell the cigarette smoke swirling in the air, hear the music blaring on the old Wurlizter, and feel the warmth emanating from bodies embracing, dancing, groping, and laughing as the sun comes up. The photographs are full of life, and Anders Petersen will forever be considered epoch-making as a master of subjective photography.

This exhibition is curated by Angie Åström.

A grainy black-and-white photograph of a man in a suit holding a cigarette
03. © Anders Petersen, Café Lehmitz
A colorful photographic artwork of a woman with short curly hair with her hand to her ear
Marlene, Color Lehmitz © Anders Petersen

About the Artist

Anders Petersen is a renowned Swedish photographer who was born in Stockholm in 1944.

He studied at Christer Strömholm’s School of Photography (1966–68) and at Dramatiska Institutet (1973–74). He had his international breakthrough with the photo-book Café Lehmitz in 1978, which was followed by about 30 published books.

Among prizes and awards can be mentioned: The Arles Photographer of the Year Award, 2003; the Jury’s Special Prize for the exhibition Exaltation of Humanity, during the third international photography festival in Lianzhou, China, 2007; the Dr. Erich Salomon Award of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie, 2008; The Arles Contemporary Book Award together with JH Engström for From Back Home, 2009. Furthermore, Petersen received Paris Photo and the Aperture Foundation Photo Book of the Year Award, 2012, for City Diary, and Lennart af Petersen’s prize, 2019.

Anders Petersen’s work is represented in the collections of Fotografiska Stockholm, The Museum of Modern Art New York, Hasselblad Center Gothenburg, The Bibliothèque nationale de France Paris, Centre Pompidou Paris, Museo d’Arte Contemporanea di Roma, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Moderna Museet Stockholm, Maison Européenne de la Photographie Paris, Museum Folkwang Essen, and Fotomuseum Winterthur, among others. He’s had both solo- and group exhibitions regularly around the world since 1969.