Éditions de La Martinière announce the return of the exhibition dedicated to Frank Horvat to the Jeu de Paume in Paris. After its success in Tours, rediscover the exhibition in an enriched version. Titled Frank Horvat. Paris, le monde, la mode, the exhibition includes 170 prints and 70 period documents that look back on the post-war period between 1950 and 1965. This catalog focuses on the first fifteen years of Frank Horvat’s career, a period during which he asserted an extraordinary personality as an author-reporter and fashion photographer.
His daughter, Fiammetta Horvat, sent us this text.
A few days before my father died, I dashed into his hospital room. I knew this sad room well, since I had already slept uncomfortably next to it, and I had decorated it with photos of my father to distract his tired eyes. I told him happily that the Jeu de Paume was going to welcome him. Talking about the future with him allowed me to ignore the evidence of his imminent departure.
Two years later, what satisfaction to still experience the good news that had awakened a spark of joy in his eyes.
It all started in Arles when Laure Augustins, Sabine Weiss’ accomplice, introduced me to Virginie Chardin who had just worked with Sabine. I had gone to see several directors of institutions and had tried to convince them, in vain, that my father’s work should be rediscovered. For years his stubbornness and his years of digital experience had completely isolated him from the world of photography. Virginie, whom I will always thank, was curious and let herself be carried away to the studio. Unfortunately, my father was already in the hospital. But his archives speak for him. Inspired by Virginie’s enthusiasm, Quentin Bajac also visited the studio shortly afterwards. The long-awaited word exhibition was spoken. Then my father died. I believe he left knowing that the work would continue without him. Happy.
For the sake of perpetuity, my father had carefully digitized since 2004 his entire archives. I offered Virginie a filtered and organized archive. She wanted to discover the whole Horvat fonds, from all eras, revealed by the traces of pencils on the contact sheets. I was worried about breaking fatherly rules but she dove into it: the selections of young Horvat, Francesco, the man I never knew, came up. His language as a young photographer quickly asserted itself and I recognized what was familiar to me about the old man: his curiosity and his complicity which made relationships so intense.
It’s a bit as if I was witnessing, thanks to this exhibition, the birth of my father’s career.
He had just died and I wanted all his work, his seventy years career to be celebrated. I was in a rush, in the whirlwind of mourning. Quentin and Virginie knew what to do for me to accept to be patient.
It is the first door, the threshold of his long life of photographic research. He left me all the keys to browse his work, I hope to have the time.
Frank Horvat. Paris, le monde, la mode
from June 16 to September 17, 2023
Jeu de Paume de Paris
1 Place de la Concorde
75008 Paris, France