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Black Noise by Keld Helmer-Petersen

Books, Photography

Posted by Mark Sinclair, 20 January 2011, 10:25    Permalink    Comments (5)

Black Noise, Danish photographer Keld Helmer-Petersen's new book, features a collection of high contrast abstract images reminiscent of his work from the 1960s...

Black Noise, published by the Rocket Gallery, features flatbed and negative scans of black and white negatives, ink drawings, cut-up line negatives, even dead spiders, plants, old tape and misprinted supermarket receipts.

In many of the photographs Helmer-Petersen has adjusted the contrast to create stark, purely black and white images that hark back to image-making he was involved in in the 60s. Helmer-Petersen is now regarded as one of the pioneers of colour photography, his book, 122 Colour Photographs, appearing in 1948. (An edition of some of these images was published as 23 Colour Photographs by Chris Boot – the BBC website has five shots, here.)

Created in collaboration with Jens Frederiksen and book designer Michael Jensen, Black Noise runs to 78 pages and is limited to 1,000 copies (£25). Helmer-Petersen has also signed 100 copies, which are available for £35 each. To order a copy, email the Rocket Gallery's Jonathan Stephenson on

Subscribers can read our interview with Helmer-Petersen from our October 2007 issue, here. The Danish legend turns 91 this year.


It's different that for sure, but not it's for me.
Peter Hearl Photography
2011-01-21 09:27:00

Well, those of you who didn't try etch-bleaching in your art school photography course, or who don't know how to use photoshop may be intrigued by this. For everyone else...yeah, seen it, done it. (In the eighties that is.)
2011-01-21 14:13:42

Actually we use to use Kodalith to create this technique - however it's good to see it out there again.
aln kent
2011-01-21 22:26:00

I really enjoy seeing the works like these, specially when the artist see the beauty in objects that are not to be admired or that need to be looked at like a flower or a portrait with pretty colors. It is obvious that Ked's work caters to an affluent audience.
2011-05-08 20:00:44

I have followed KHP since coming across his work in the Rocket Gallery in London. I keep in touch with by letter and now by E Mail. He is only now getting the recognition he has long deserved, which in my opinion has been long over due. He was in fact doing colour abstract images way back in 1947, which were self published by him.

Look for any other books by him through the Rocket Gallery in London, as they are the main distributor of his work.
Sandy Wilson
2011-07-05 14:11:41

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