Magnum photographer Harry Gruyaert captures light and shadow around the world

Date
11 May 2017
Reading Time
1 minute read

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.

Above

Belgium, Antwerp, 1988 © Harry Gruyaert / Magnum Photos. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

Above

USA, Los Angeles, 1982 © Harry Gruyaert / Magnum Photos. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

Above

Spain, Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, 1988 © Harry Gruyaert / Magnum Photos. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

Above

Trivandrum, India, 1989 © Harry Gruyaert / Magnum Photos. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

Above

Egypt, Cairo, 1988 © Harry Gruyaert / Magnum Photos. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

Above

Morocco, Ouarzazate, 1982 © Harry Gruyaert / Magnum Photos. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

Above

Mali, 1988 © Harry Gruyaert / Magnum Photos. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

Above

France, Paris, 1985 © Harry Gruyaert / Magnum Photos. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

Above

Belgium, Waterloo, 1981 © Harry Gruyaert / Magnum Photos. Courtesy of Michael Hoppen Gallery

Share Article

Further Info

About the Author

Rebecca Fulleylove

Rebecca became staff writer at It’s Nice That in March 2016 before leaving the company at the end of 2017. Before joining the company full time she worked with us on a freelance basis many times, as well as stints at Macmillan Publishers, D&AD, Dazed and frieze.

It's Nice That Newsletters

Fancy a bit of It's Nice That in your inbox? Sign up to our newsletters and we'll keep you in the loop with everything good going on in the creative world.