In 1961, Belgian photographer Harry Gruyaert turned to colour photography while he was living in Paris – it was this, combined with his images of Europe, North Africa, the Middle East and America during the 70s, that garnered attention from the industry.
The Magnum photographer visited the Los Angeles, India, Egypt, Japan, Morocco, Spain and other parts of Europe, often by road in his Volkswagen Kombi. It was in these exotic, faraway places where he became fascinated by the interplay of light and shadow and using colour as means of expression.
Combining landscape shots with portraits, there’s a filmic quality to Harry’s shots, unsurprising as he was also a DOP for Flemish television in the 60s. His images are a colourful interpretation of these countries, where richly vibrant scenes vary from flurries of activity with lots of people, yet also show his deftness at slowing things down and capturing more serene moments.
Highlighting his significant influence on colourist photography, the Michael Hoppen Gallery is exhibiting some of his most well-known work in a show titled Western and Eastern Light. In the show we’re given a glimpse into Harry’s 30-year career and his ability to seamlessly weave texture, light, colour and architecture comes together beautifully.
Harry Gruyeart: Western and Eastern Light is on now until 27 June 2017 at the Michael Hoppen Gallery, London.
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