Throughout the summer of 2019, the Departmental Hotel des Arts invites its visitors to immerse themselves in the world of Harry Gruyaert, thus continuing, with this master of color, the reflection it has been conducting for many years on the photographic medium. Like the exhibition presented in 2017 on Mathieu Pernot’s 20-year work with Gypsy communities, the Department of the Var’s art center wished to be part again of Grand Arles Express, this time with a photographic proposal, that is not a retrospective, it allows the public to apprehend an essential part, sometimes little known, of the work of Harry Gruyaert.
In his work, Harry Gruyaert displays a vibrant personal energy. His photographs, most often in color of which he makes a very particular use, has often been considered as his trademark, it includes a world of chiaroscuro, contrasts, fog or light. There is a very subtle development on the ambiguities of appearance, a very voluntary choice of plans, transparency, and of the demand of volume and space.
The choice of the framing then gives birth to the sumptuousness of everyday images, almost poor or banal. For, with Harry Gruyaert, whether they are photographs taken in North Africa, the Middle East, the United States, Russia or Europe, all relation to the real is first staged, instinctively: the choice of a certain distance, of field of vision, a speed of exposure. Always the beginning of a representation by the very nature of the stop he made, the cut and the rhythm that he proposes.
In Harry Gruyaert’s images the use of light in a broad sense offers the possibility of a pure sensation far beyond mere representation. In fact, through a search for light, color and the appropriate format, he seems to want to capture as much as possible the particular life of each decorative element. That’s his strength. With Harry Gruyaert’s, nothing is superfluous; everything is refined to give to see an authentic intelligence of the eye.
Françoise Docquiert, curator of the exhibition
Harry Gruyaert – Photographer
June 21 to September 22
Hôtel Départemental des Arts
Centre d’art du Var
236 Boulevard Maréchal Leclerc