Tom Sandberg: Photographs


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The first major publication dedicated to one of Norway's most important photographers.

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The first major publication dedicated to one of Norway's most important photographers. Working in a signature modulating gray scale, the late Norwegian photographer Tom Sandberg spent decades rendering the world according to an exacting vision, training his eye on the shapes and forms of the everyday—dark abstractions of asphalt and sea, the hard edges of an automobile, an ominously curved tunnel, an anonymous figure casting a shadow—to plumb the nature of photographic seeing. His pictures are subtle yet transformative, studies of stillness that radiate mystery. A perfectionist in the darkroom, Sandberg was acutely sensitive to the rich spectrum of black and white, and his handmade prints, at times printed on aluminum and canvas, project a powerful physical presence. Although Sandberg is esteemed in his native Norway and throughout Scandinavia and Europe, his oeuvre is less known in the United States and other parts of the world. This monograph, produced in close collaboration with the Tom Sandberg Foundation in Oslo, is a long-overdue celebration of this distinguished artist.

Format: Hardback
Number of pages: 224
Number of images: 124
Publication date: 2022-09-13
Measurements: 9.38 x 11 x 1.06 inches
ISBN: 9781597115155


“There’s something close to religious about this ghostly work.…at heart, he’s giving us not just the world but all that cannot be shown and can never be seen.” —Pico Iyer


Tom Sandberg (1953–2014; born in Narvik, Norway) worked and lived in Oslo. In the early 1970s, he studied photography at Trent Polytechnic, Nottingham, UK, where Thomas Joshua Cooper, Paul Hill, and Minor White were among his teachers. Sandberg’s early work was among the first acquisitions of photography by the National Museum of Art, Architecture and Design, Oslo. His work is held in the collections of numerous other museums, as well as in public and private collections, including those of Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo; and Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.
Pico Iyer is author of fifteen books translated into twenty-three languages, including The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere (2014). He is a regular contributor to the New York Times, New York Review of Books, and Harper’s, among many other publications.
Bob Nickas is a writer and curator based in New York. He has organized more than one hundred exhibitions since 1984, including, Tom Sandberg: Photographs 1989–2006. Among his other shows at MoMA PS1 are Wolfgang Tillmans: Freedom from the KnownStephen Shore: American SurfacesLee Lozano: Drawn from Life, 1961–1971William Gedney—Christopher Wool: Into the Night; a Peter Hujar survey; and projects with Charles Atlas, Trisha Donnelly, and Torbjørn Rødland. Nickas’s books include Painting Abstraction: New Elements in Abstract Painting (2009) and four collections of his writing and interviews: Live Free or Die (2000), Theft Is Vision (2008), The Dept. of Corrections (2015), and Komplaint Dept. (2018).
Torunn Liven is an art historian and writer based in Oslo.