a european pioneer of colour photography is celebrated in paris

Let Harry Gruyaert colour you beautiful as the first ever retrospective of his work comes to Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris.

by Oscar Heliani
20 April 2015, 1:50am

"Colour is more physical than black and white, always more intellectual and abstract." This statement by the 74-year-old Belgian photographer Harry Gruyaert, summarises his lifetime quest for colour. In the 1970-1980s, along with American photographers Joel Meyerowitz or William Eggleston, he was one of the first Europeans to use colour in a purely creative dimension, as an emotive and graphic way to picture the world.

Fascinated by Richard Avedon and Irving Penn, Harry Gruyaert started working for French Elle in 1962, before he was commissioned to take pictures on a cruise heading to Morocco. Obsessed by the country's colours and inhabitants, Gruyaert returned there regularly to find inspiration. A huge fan of Michelangelo Antonioni, he took his most beautiful pictures during his travels to India, Japan and the United States, as well as his Belgian hometown, but never looked at them with a documentary eye, rather describing taking a picture as, "a real fight against reality struggling between saving the image or losing everything." He also photographed Hermès' spring/summer 15 campaign, L'oeil du Flâneur. Now, for the first time, his work is being celebrated in an exhibition at Maison Européenne de la Photographie. In parallel with the retrospective, the Parisian public transport system will feature huge photographs by Gruyaert in 16 major subway stations in Paris.

The exhibition runs until June 14th at Maison Européenne de la Photographie.


Harry Gruyaert
Maison Européenne de la Photographie
maison européenne de la photo