Belgian Photographer | Born: 1941
For more than thirty years, from Belgium to Morocco, and from India to Egypt, Harry Gruyaert has been recording the subtle chromatic vibrations of Eastern and Western light. Gruyaert studied at the School for Photo and Cinema in Brussels from 1959 to 1962. He then began freelance fashion and advertising work in Paris, while working as a director of photography for Flemish television. In 1969 Gruyaert made the first of many trips to Morocco. His total immersion in its colors and landscapes won him the Kodak Prize in 1976 and culminated in the publication of the book Morocco in 1990. He traveled to India for the first time in 1976 and to Egypt in 1987. Far from indulging in stereotypical exoticism, Gruyaert has a vision of faraway countries that locates the viewer within peculiar and somewhat impenetrable atmospheres. In a different sphere he covered the Olympic Games in Munich in 1972. In the same year he photographed some of the first Apollo flights as they were shown on a crazy television set. This project, which exploits the colors of the screen, appeared under the title 'TV Shots' in Zoom. It was shown at the Delpire Gallery in 1974 and at Phillips de Pury & Co. in New York. Gruyaert joined Magnum Photos in 1981. His book Made in Belgium was published in 2000, Rivages, a collection of portraits of shores around the world, in 2003, PhotoPoche in 2006, and TV Shots in 2007. In his later work Gruyaert has abandoned the Cibachrome process in favor of digital print. Better suited to revealing the rich shades found in his films, digital print opens new possibilities for his work, bringing it one step closer to his original intention, namely to give color the means to assert its true existence.
Source Magnum Photos
Author: Francois Hebel, Harry Gruyaert
Publisher: Thames & Hudson
Born in Antwerp in 1941 and a member of Magnum Photos since 1982, Harry Gruyaert revolutionized creative and experimental uses of color in the 1970s and 1980s. Influenced by cinema and American photographers, his work defined new territory for color photography: an emotive, non-narrative, and boldly graphic way of perceiving the world.
In 1972, while living in London, Gruyaert created the striking series TV Shots by turning the dial on a television set at random and photographing the distorted images he saw there. A later series, Made in Belgium, portrays his ambivalent relationship with his homeland in a palette of saturated tones. In his most recent work, he embraces the possibilities of digital photography, taking further creative risks to capture light in new ways.
Gruyaert’s images are autonomous, often independent of any context or thematic logic. This volume, the first retrospective of his work, is a superb overview of his personal quest for freedom of expression and the liberation of the senses. 80 color illustrations