Gunnar Smoliansky is a major Swedish photographer. He was born in 1933 in Visby, on the island of Gotland, and has devoted himself to photography since the early 1950s. Smoliansky has been an independent artist since the 1970s, working almost exclusively with the photographic image. Today his oeuvre is quite unique, although of course it has its place in and refers to photo history. He became an acknowledged photographer via his early independent work, and a route that took him to a job as a photographer’s assistant and to night school courses under Christer Strömholm. Between 1956 and 1963 he held a position as an industrial photographer.
Gunnar Smoliansky works exclusively in black and white, and always develops his photographs himself. Throughout his career, he has transformed his photographed motifs into completed photos in the darkroom. Stockholm is the main focus of Smoliansky’s photographic world, particularly the areas of Södermalm and Saltsjö-Boo, the two parts of the city he has lived and worked in for most of his life.
From a geographic point of view, the photographs of Gunnar Smoliansky are quite restricted in range. This has not, however, kept him from being regarded as one of the great world photographers.