© Georg Oddner© Georg Oddner

Georg Oddner  Passing through

Georg Oddner's creative photography spans more than half a century. His black and white images from all over the world and his portraits of jazz performers won him great renown. He depicts the people of Spain, Peru, Japan and Vietnam as well as people in the Soviet Union during the 1950s and 60s, all with great compassion and warmth. Georg Oddner became a prominent figure in photography early, not only in Sweden but internationally as well. Since the early 1990s he has worked exclusively in color. This was a challenge for him, as well as a kind of new start, but his personal perspective remains the same, his interest in travel, in human beings, and in the shifting phases of life. He also began a different kind of journey, from his studio in Malmö into the world of dried flowers and leaves.  This was a journey inward, interpreting life and its changes using the world of flora as his metaphor. Artists have long used flowers as a symbol of growth. In the work of Georg Oddner they become a symbol of the cyclic nature of human life and of nature: identification and contrast, desire and decay.

Georg Oddner, 1923-2007, was born in Stockholm. His early career was as a jazz trumpeter in Putte Wickman's sextet. At 27 he abandoned jazz and traveled to the United States working, among other jobs, as fashion photographer Richard Avedon's assistant in New York. When he returned to Sweden in 1952, he settled in Malmö, devoting himself mainly to report and fashion photography. His reputation soon took off, and his numerous commissions took him all around the world. One of the magazines he often worked for was Vi. In 1958 he became a founding member of the photo group "Tio fotografer" ("Ten Photographers") in Stockholm.

This is a retrospective exhibit of a selection of the works of Georg Oddner from throughout his career. It includes photographs from his travels  as well his portraits, jazz and fashion photos and still lives. His images are permeated by a sense of identification with his encounters with the new and unknown, wherever he was. His portraits are in-depth studies; his jazz photos reflect his own musicality, his sense of rhythm and coordination as he depicts the legends of the jazz world. His fashion photos reflect more than the loveliness of the models and the enticement of their garments, while his still lives of dried flowers render yet another world, of great and enduring beauty.