Gerry Johansson's sensitive and subtle photographs hint at human life through the occasional car or lone figure but for the most part they draw the reader’s eye to the simplistic architecture of a small American town. In singling out Pontiac, Johansson offers comment on more than the landscape, photographing a microcosm of the effects of the decline in the auto industry in Michigan. His images survey the landscape with a characteristic Swedish melancholy, echoing the new topographic photographers of the 1970s.
Pontiac marks the end of an eighteen year project by Johansson. In 1993, 1994 and 1996 he visited America, taking photographs on his travels from one small town to the next. This work was compiled published as Amerika in 1998. It was followed by a collection of photographs from his homeland, published under the title Sverige in 2005. Critical response led Johansson to narrow his camera’s eye to make Kvidinge, a portrait of a Swedish town, published in 2007. Finally he revisited America in 2010, traveling to Pontiac, Michigan, and this became the basis for his final piece in this series.
Born 1945, in Örebro, Sweden, Gerry Johansson now lives and works in Höganäs, in south Sweden. He developed an interest in photography during his teen years and moved to New York in the early 1960s. Later he studied graphic design at Konstindustriskolan (today the School of Design and Crafts at the University of Gothenburg), working in graphic design for fifteen years. Since the mid-1980s he has worked as a freelance photographer. His first solo exhibition was at the Fotografiska Museet at the Moderna Museet, 1982. Pontiac is the last book in a series of six geographically focused publications starting with Amerika, 1998, Sverige, 2005, Kvidinge, 2007, Ulan Bator, 2009 and Deutschland, due to be published later this year. His work has been exhibited at The Hasselblad Centre, Gothenburg. He is represented by GunGallery, Stockholm.