Keld Helmer-Petersen

A world of structures, patterns, and colours


The pioneer of Danish Modernist photography, Keld Helmer-Petersen (1920-2013), is internationally acclaimed for his images of structures, patterns and details found in industrial areas, cityscapes and nature. He started photographing in the late 1930s and first made his name with 122 Colour Photographs in 1948. This book is especially well known due to its innovative use of colour in thoroughly composed photographs of patterns in landscapes and buildings. During the 1950s and 1960s he established himself as a photographer of architecture and design. Simultaneously, his artistic work shifted towards the more abstract, as he found inspiration in German and American photography as well as international abstract art.

Browse the digitized transparencies and negatives from Keld Helmer-Petersen's collection

From the workshop of the photographer - seven decades of photography

The collection of transparencies and negatives stems from the photographer's own archive and covers Keld Helmer-Petersen's long-time career in its entirety. It is digitized as a whole and with the information left behind by the photographer. It provides insight into the work material of the photographer, including all shots as well as private pictures. The many transparencies and negatives are shown in their current state and show signs of wear and changes in colour. In other words, what is now shown is not the finished works of art, but a vast material from the workshop of the photographer, in which you can follow his work and artistic development.