Harry Gruyaert: Morocco

The Magnum Gallery is pleased to present MOROCCO, an exhibition of works by the Belgian photographer and filmmaker Harry Gruyaert focusing on his extensive travels to the North African country of Morocco. Gruyaert’s first trip to the country marked his color photography ‘epiphany’. Gruyaert joined Magnum Photos in 1982. The exhibition is presented from 30 January to 2 April 2021 at the gallery and online.

While Gruyaert became fascinated by the power of color when he first moved to Paris in the 1960s, and subsequently on his first trip to New York in 1968 where he saw the works of Pop artists Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg, his revelation that color photography was his preferred medium came from his very first trip to Morocco in 1969. Reminiscent of artists Eugène Delacroix and Henri Matisse, this revelation had a long-lasting impact on Gruyaert’s oeuvre which he decided to entirely dedicate to colour photography.

The exhibition presented at the Magnum Gallery in Paris celebrates this realization and spotlights one of his most significant and poetic bodies of works, spanning 40 years of the artist’s work. During his many trips to Morocco, Gruyaert developed a highly personal photographic language, revealing the essence of the colors, landscapes, and people he saw and met.

About the Author

Born in Belgium in 1941, Harry Gruyaert studied photography and film-making. He made a few films as director of photography for Flemish television before turning to color photographs in his adopted Paris in the early 1960s.

A portrait of Harry Gruyaert

By the end of the 1970s, he had traveled to the United States, India, Egypt, Japan, and Morocco. The latter was a revelation to Gruyaert whose images of the country were later published in two different books. In the early 1970s, while he was living in London, he worked on a series of color television screenshots later to become the TV Shots now part of the Centre Pompidou collections. Around the same period, he also photographed his homeland and produced two books, Made in Belgium and Roots.

In 1982, he joined Magnum Photos. Among other important works, the two editions of Rivages (Edges), published in 2003 and 2008, are the testimony of how Gruyaert likes to work in different environments, with contrasting lights and colors. He had a retrospective of his work in Paris in 2015 and is currently working on a major show due to open at the FOMU in Antwerp in 2018. He lives in Paris and is represented by Gallery 51 in Antwerp.

More info on:

https://www.magnumphotos.com/

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