Harry Gruyaert - Ireland, Galway, In a Pub, 1984

Harry Gruyaert

Irish Summers

05/09/2020

31/10/2020

Gallery FIFTY ONE

Opening reception: Saturday, September 5th 2020 from 2 – 6 pm

Gallery FIFTY ONE is excited to announce its new show ‘Irish Summers’ by the renowned Belgian photographer Harry Gruyaert (°1941). This exhibition brings together a selection of images the artist made on trips to Ireland over the period 1983-84. While some of these photographs are included in a number of Gruyaert’s previous projects and books (e.g. ‘Rivages’/‘Edges’), this is the first time that they are presented as a series. An eponymous new FIFTY ONE Publication will be launched for the occasion of this exhibition.

Read the full press release here.

View a full overview of the exhibited works here.

Harry Gruyaert - Ireland, 1983
Harry Gruyaert - Ireland, 1983
Harry Gruyaert - Ireland, 1988
Harry Gruyaert - Ireland, 1988
Harry Gruyaert - Ireland, County Kerry, 1983
Harry Gruyaert - Ireland, County Kerry, 1983
Harry Gruyaert - Ireland, County Kerry, 1988

Harry Gruyaert

Originally dreaming of becoming a film director, Harry Gruyaert studied at the School of Film and Photography in Brussels from 1959 to 1962. Shortly after he left Belgium at the age of 21, fleeing the strict catholic environment in which he was raised. Gruyaert travelled extensively across Europe, North Africa, Asia and the United States and lived in cities with a vibrant film and photography scene like Paris and London. During his first trip to New York in 1968, he discovered Pop artists like Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg. This encounter made him appreciate the creative potential of colour and encouraged him to search for beauty in everyday elements for the rest of his career. Around the same time Gruyaert befriended the American artists Richard Nonas and Gordon Matta-Clark and photographed their work. Further inspired by the visual impulses on his first trip to Morocco in 1969, he decided in the second half of the 1970s as one of the first photographers in Europe to commit himself entirely to colour photography.

Gruyaert’s cinematographic background instilled in him an aesthetic conception of photography. Rather than telling stories or documenting the world through his lens, he searches for beauty in everyday elements. His images are simply snapshots of magical moments in which different visual elements, primarily colour, form, light and movement, spontaneously come together in front of his lens.

biography

Born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1941
Lives and works in Paris, France
Member of Magnum Photos since 1982

Harry Gruyaert - France, Paris. Café la Palette, 1985
Still from the documentary 'Harry Gruyaert, Photographer'
Trailer of the documentary 'Harry Gruyaert, Photographer' (2018)

Colour

In his search for strong graphical images, Gruyaert focuses his camera on objects as much as on people, who are often reduced to silhouettes or rendered to plain colour fields. Unsurprisingly the countries he photographs are mostly identified by means of the subtle differences in colour palette and light, inherent to the local atmosphere, culture and climate, more than by the depicted subjects or scenes.

Among his most well-known series are ‘Rivages/Edges’, featuring coastal views from around the world, that Gruyaert photographed out of a fascination for the rapidly changing light in these places. In the early 1970s, while he was living in London, Gruyaert worked on a series of colour television screen shots later to become the ‘TV Shots’ and now part of the Centre Pompidou collection. Around that time he regularly returned to his home country Belgium. This resulted in the series ‘Roots’, that perfectly reflects the Belgian Zeitgeist of the 1970s and 1980s.

Harry Gruyaert - France, Berck Plage, 2007
Harry Gruyaert - France, Berck Plage, 2007
Screening 'Irish Summers'. Photographs by Harry Gruyaert / Magnum Photos, Music: Tuur Florizoone, Contrabass: Soet Kempeneer, Production: Valéry Faidherbe, Calibration: Albin Millot
Harry Gruyaert - Belgium, Ostend. Thermae Palace, 1988
Harry Gruyaert - Belgium, Ostend. Thermae Palace, 1988
Harry Gruyaert - France, Fort-Mahon, 1991
Harry Gruyaert - France, Fort-Mahon, 1991
Harry Gruyaert - Belgium, Ostend, 1988
Harry Gruyaert - Belgium, Ostend, 1988
Harry Gruyaert - France, Nice, La baie des Anges, 1988
Harry Gruyaert - France, Nice, La baie des Anges, 1988
Harry Gruyaert - USA, Las Vegas International Airport, 1982
Harry Gruyaert - USA, Las Vegas International Airport, 1982
Harry Gruyaert - France, Paris, Airport Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle, 1985
Harry Gruyaert - France, Paris, Airport Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle, 1985
Harry Gruyaert - USA, Los Angeles, 1982
Harry Gruyaert - USA, Los Angeles, 1982
Harry Gruyaert - USA, Las Vegas, 1982
Harry Gruyaert - USA, Las Vegas, 1982
Harry Gruyaert - USA, Nevada, Las Vegas, 1982
Harry Gruyaert - USA, Nevada, Las Vegas, 1982
Harry Gruyaert - USA, New York City, 1985
Harry Gruyaert - USA, New York City, 1985
Harry Gruyaert - Morocco, Essaouira, 1988
Harry Gruyaert - Morocco, Essaouira, 1988
Harry Gruyaert - Morocco, Ouarzazate, 1986
Harry Gruyaert - Morocco, Ouarzazate, 1986
Harry Gruyaert - India, Rajasthan, 1976
Harry Gruyaert - India, Rajasthan, 1976
Harry Gruyaert - Morocco, Erfoud, 1975
Harry Gruyaert - Morocco, Erfoud, 1975
Harry Gruyaert - Belgium, Brussels, 1981
Harry Gruyaert - Belgium, Brussels, 1981
Harry Gruyaert - Belgium, Boom, 1988
Harry Gruyaert - Belgium, Boom, 1988
Harry Gruyaert - Belgium, Brussels, Rue Royale, 1981
Harry Gruyaert - Belgium, Brussels, Rue Royale, 1981
Harry Gruyaert - Belgium, Boom, National road #1, 1988
Harry Gruyaert - Belgium, Boom, National road #1, 1988
Harry Gruyaert - Belgium, Brussels, Midi Station, 1981
Harry Gruyaert - Belgium, Brussels, Midi Station, 1981
Harry Gruyaert - Belgium, Charleroi, 1981
Harry Gruyaert - Belgium, Charleroi, 1981
Harry Gruyaert - France, Paris, 1985
Harry Gruyaert - France, Paris, 1985
Harry Gruyaert - France, Paris, 1985
Harry Gruyaert - France, Paris, 1985
Harry Gruyaert - Russia, Moscow, 1989
Harry Gruyaert - Russia, Moscow, 1989
Harry Gruyaert - Russia, Moscow, 1989
Harry Gruyaert - Russia, Moscow, 1989