Frank Horvat

Givenchy hat, Paris, 1958

Gallery

BIoGRAPHY

Frank Horvat (28 April 1928 – 21 October 2020) was an Italian photographer who lived and worked in France. He is best known for his fashion photography, published between the mid 1950s and the late 1980s. Horvat’s photographic opus includes photojournalism, portraiture, landscape, nature, and sculpture. He was the recipient of the Fondazione del Centenario Award in 2010 for his contributions to European culture.

He has collaborated with fellow photographers such as Don McCullin, Robert Doisneau, Sarah Moon, Helmut Newton, and Marc Riboud. In the 1990s, he was one of the first major photographers to experiment with technology including photoshop.

Horvat was born in Abbazia, Italy (now Opatija, Croatia), on 28 April 1928, into a Jewish family from Central Europe. His father, Karl, was a Hungarian general physician, and his mother, Adele, was a psychiatrist from Vienna. At the age of 11, in 1939, his family moved to Lugano in Switzerland, fleeing fascism in Italy. He went on to study fine art at Brera Academy in Milan. Horvat lived in several countries including Switzerland, Italy, Pakistan, India, England, and America) before settling in France in 1955.

Horvat started his career in the mid 1950s as a photojournalist in Paris, working to capture the ‘sleaze and squalor’ of the city, before going on to fashion photography. He acknowledged having been strongly influenced by French humanist photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. After meeting him in 1950, he followed his advice and replaced his Rollei with a Leica camera and embarked on a two-year journey through Asia as a free-lance photojournalist. His photographs from this trip were published by Life, Réalités, Match, Picture Post, Die Woche, and Revue. His photograph of an Indian bride under a veil, her face reflected in a mirror on her lap, was selected by Edward Steichen for The Family of Man exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art which toured the world to be seen by 9 million visitors.

In 1955, Horvat moved from London to Paris and found that the mood of its streets and its inhabitants had little in common with the somewhat romantic vision of the so-called humanist photographers. In 1957, Horvat shot fashion photographs for Jardin des Modes using a 35-mm camera and available light, which formerly had rarely been used for fashion. This innovation was welcomed by ready-to-wear designers, because it presented their creations in the context of everyday life. In the following years, Horvat was commissioned to do similar work for Elle in Paris, Vogue in London, and Harper’s Bazaar in New York.

Between 1962 and 1963, Horvat turned to photojournalism and took a trip around the world for the German magazine Revue. Then he experimented with cinema and video. In 1976, he decided to “become his own client” by producing three personal projects: Portraits of Trees (1976–82), Very Similar (1982-86) and New York Up and Down (1982–87), which he called his “triptych”.

In this period, Horvat went on towards color photography including his series New York Up and Down, where he extensively shot portraits of passengers on New York’s subway systems and coffee shops. This was also period when his eyesight started to fail from an eye disease. It was then that he began a new project, a series of interviews with fellow photographers, such as Edouard Boubat, Robert Doisneau, Mario Giacomelli, Josef Koudelka, Don McCullin, Sarah Moon, Helmut Newton, Marc Riboud, Jeanloup Sieff and Joel-Peter Witkin. They were published in France under the title Entre Vues.

In the 1990s, Horvat became interested in computer technology and produced Yao the Cat (1993), Bestiary (1994), and Ovid’s Metamorphoses (1995). He transgressed the Cartier-Bressonian rule of the “decisive moment” by combining parts of images shot at different times and in different places. Several years later, he produced A Trip to Carrara. This was also the period that he was one of the first photographers to experiment with Photoshop.

Women played a central thematic role in his fashion journalistic works, with a focus on realism. Speaking about women in his photography and his emphasis on natural looks, he said, “I was interested in women. I wanted to show what I liked about them. They would spend two hours in the makeup chair, and I’d try to get them to remove it so they’d look more natural.” In his own words, he kept away from pictures of war, disease, and suffering, “not out of indifference to these misfortunes, but because I feel neither the moral justification nor the physical courage to face such situations as a photographer.” However, his early photojournalistic works of Paris, had him focus on the city’s seedy underbelly to counter the ‘heavily romanticized’ depictions of the city.

Horvat’s later projects were perhaps his most personal. 1999 is a photo-diary of the last year of the millennium, shot with a tiny analog camera designed for amateurs. Entre Vues and La Véronique were taken with the first digital Nikon within a 30-meter range, either inside his home in Provence or in its immediate surroundings. Eye at the Fingertips, which was started in 2006, was photographed with a digital compact camera. His latest enterprise was an iPad application called Horvatland, which contains more than 2,000 photos produced over the course of 65 years with ten hours of commentary. He received the Fondazione del Centenario Award (based in Lugano, Switzerland) in 2010, for his contribution to European culture.

Horvat’s latest book, Sidewalk, showcasing life in New York city in the 1980s, is to be published on 26 October 2020.

exhibitions

2019
“Dyptics”, group exhibition. La Mostra Fotografica, Carona Immagina 19 at Carona, Swiss.
“House With Fifteen Keys”, personal exhibition at Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow (MAMM).
“Frank Horvat’s Fashion”, personal exhibition at Leica Camera Hong-Kong.

2018
“Frank Horvat et ses contemporains”, Vieille église St Vincent, Mérignac,
and Musée de la Photographie, Lille.
“Please don’t smile”, personal exhibition, at Museo Palau Solterra, Spain.
“Please don’t smile”, personal exhibition, at In Camera Gallery, Paris.
“Eighties New York”, personal exhibition, at Fifty One Gallery, Antwerpen.
“FRANK HORVAT.STORIA DI UN FOTOGRAFO”, at Palazzo Chiablese, Turin.
“Un moment d’une femme”, personal exhibition, at Nexus Hall Chanel, Tokyo.

2017
“Horvatyear – Diptyques”, personal exhibition, at Galerie Dina Vierny and Galerie Minautore, Paris. “Please don’t smile”, personal exhibition, at Izzy Gallery, Toronto.
“Frank Horvat”, personal exhibition, at Galerie GADCOLLECTION, Paris.

2016
“Photos CON”, personal exhibition, at Dina Vierny Gallery, Paris.
“Please don’t smile”, personal exhibition, at Fahey Klein Gallery, Los Angeles.

2015
“House with Fifteen keys”, personal exhibition, at Helmut Newton Foundation, Berlin.

2014
“House with Fifteen keys”, personal exhibition, at Palazzo Mediceo di Seravezza, Italy.
“House with Fifteen keys”, personal exhibition, at Théâtre de La Photographie et de l’Image, Nice.

2013
“LES MAINS D’HORVAT (LOOK MA! NO HANDS!)”, personal exhibition, at Gallery Dina Vierny, Paris.

2012
“THE IPAD EXHIBITION”, personal exhibition, Gallery Hiltawski, Berlin.
“TRIP TO CARRARA”, personal exhibition, at Dina Vierny Gallery, Paris.
“RETROSPECTIVE”, personal exhibition, at Brucie Collections, Kiev, Ukraine.
“TRIP TO CARRARA”, personal exhibition, at Susanna Orlando Gallery, Forte dei Marmi, Italy.
“FASHION PHOTOGRAPHS”, personal exhibition, at Presentation House, Vancouver, Canada.

2011
“VINTAGE PRINTS”, personal exhibition, at Birgit Filzmaier, Zurich, Switzerland.
“NO REPEAT”, retrospective, at CRAF, Spilimbergo, Italy.

2010
“FASHION PHOTOGRAPHS”, personal exhibition, at Manège Gallery, Saint-Petersburg.
“BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHSAN” and “AN EYE AT THE FINGERTIPS”, personal exhibitions, at BSI Gallery, Lugano, Switzerland.
“BLACK AND WHITE”, Photographica Gallery, Lugano, Switzerland.

2009
“BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS”, personal exhibition, at Gallery Hiltawski, Berlin and Gallery Aplanat, Hamburg.
“VERY SIMILAR”, personal exhibition, at Gallery Hiltawski, Berlin and Gallery Aplanat, Hamburg.
“DE-BOCCHE-TETTE-CULI-CAZZI-E-MONE”, personal exhibition, at Gallery Dina Vierny, Paris.
“GLI ANNI DEL BIANCO E NERO”, personal exhibition, at Gallery Ersel, Torino, Italy.

2008
“FASHION PHOTOGRAPHS”, personal exhibition, at Artparis.
“NEW YORK UP AND DOWN”, personal exhibition, at La-Maison-près-Bastille, Paris.
“WAYS OF AN EYE”, retrospective exhibition, at Villa Tamaris, La Seyne, Var, France.

2007
“ROMANESQUE SCULPTURE”, personal exhibition, at La-Maison-près-Bastille, Paris.
“STRIP-TEASE”, personal exhibition, at Assolibri Gallery, Florence, Italy.

2006
“BLACK AND WHITE AND COLOUR”, personal exhibition, at Tristan’s Gallery, Cornwall, GB.
“ICÔNES ET INÉDITS”, Digital black and white prints, personal exhibition, at La-Maison-près-Bastille, Paris.
“RETROSPECTIVE EXHIBITION”, at Espace Landowski, Boulogne-Billancourt, France.
“FASHION PHOTOGRAPHS”, personal exhibition, at Holden Luntz Gallery, Palm Beach, Florida, USA.

2005
“PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE SCULPTURES BY ROBERT COUTURIER”, personal exhibition, at Musée Maillol, Paris.
“LA VÉRONIQUE”, personal exhibition, at Assolibri Gallery, Florence, Italy.

2004
“ARCHIVAL INKJET PRINTS”, personal exhibition, at Wouter Van Leeuwen Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland.
“BLACK AND WHITE VINTAGE PRINTS”, personal exhibition, at Janos Gat Gallery, New York, USA.
“LA VÉRONIQUE”, personal exhibition, at Nature and Landscape Festival, La Gacilly, France.
“LA VÉRONIQUE”, personal exhibition, at Dina Vierny Gallery, Paris.

2003
“BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS”, personal exhibition, at Fahey-Klein Gallery, Los Angeles.
“RETROSPECTIVE”, personal exhibition, at Maison de la Photographie, Toulon, France.
“BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS”, personal exhibition, at Jan Schluetter Gallery, Köln, Germany.

2002
“HOMAGE TO CATALONIA”, personal exhibition, at Fundation Vila Casas, Barcelona, Spain.
“1999, A DAILY REPORT”, personal exhibition, at Janos Gat Gallery, New York.
“STRIP-TEASE”, personal exhibition, at Staley Wise Gallery, New York.
“BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS”, personal exhibition, at Haeckelbury Fine Arts, London.
“VRAIES SEMBLANCES”, personal exhibition, at Galerie Dina Vierny, Paris.
“BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS”, personal exhibition, at Fifty-one Fine Art Photography, Antwerpen.

2001
“STRIP TEASE”, personal exhibition, at Galerie Dina Vierny, Paris.

2000
“MINI-RETROSPECTIVE”, personal exhibition, at Galerie Serge Aboucrat, Paris.
“VERY SIMILAR”, personal exhibition, at Jane Jackson Gallery, Atlanta, GA, USA.
“51 PHOTOGRAPHS IN BLACK AND WHITE”, personal exhibition, at Galerie In Focus,Cologne, Germany.
“FASHION PHOTOGRAPHS”, personal exhibition, at Sao Paolo, Brésil.
“NEW YORK UP AND DOWN”, personal exhibition, at Stadtgalerie, Kiel, Germany.
“51 PHOTOGRAPHS IN BLACK AND WHITE”, personal exhibition, at Musée Régional des Centovalli, Intragna, Switzerland.
“1999, A DAILY REPORT and PARIS VINTAGE”, personal exhibition, at Musée Régional des Centovalli, Intragna, Switzerland.
“51 PHOTOGRAPHS IN BLACK AND WHITE”, personal exhibition, at Galleria Assolibri, Firenze, Italy.
“FEMMES PLUS QUE FEMMES”, collective exhibition, at Fundation Armando Alvarez Penteado, Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“FRANK HORVAT”, 1999, Film, at ARTE.

1999
“GOETHE IN SICILY”, personal exhibition, at Casa di Goethe, Rome.
“HORVAT’S BESTIARY”, personal exhibition, at the Zoological Museum in Kiel, Germany.
“VERY SIMILAR”, personal exhibition, at Hackelbury Fine Arts, London.

1998
“GOETHE IN SICILY”, personal exhibition, at Goethe-Haus, Frankfurt a.M., Germany.
“51 PHOTOGRAPHIES EN NOIR ET BLANC”, personal exhibition, at Galerie Esther Woerdehoff, Paris.
“70 ANS-70 PHOTOS”, personal exhibition, at Galerie Esther Woerdehoff, Paris.
“VRAIES SEMBLANCES, personal exhibition, Institut Français, Valence.
“51 BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS”, personal exhibition, Galeria Railowski, Valencia, Spain.

1997
“PERSONAL EXHIBITION”, at Photographie-Forum, Frankfurt a.M., Germany.
“PERSONAL EXHIBITION”, at Institut Français, Prag, Czech Republic.
“PERSONAL EXHIBITION”, at Institut Français, Bratislava, Slovakia.
“VINTAGE PRINTS”, personal exhibition, at Staley-Wise Gallery, New York.
“HIGH FASHION PHOTOGRAPHS IN ROME, FOR HARPER’S BAZAAR”, personal exhibition, at Galleria Acta International, Rome, Italy.

1996

“FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY”, personal exhibition, at Fotofest, Houston, USA.
“PARIS-LONDON”, personal exhibition, at Musée Carnavalet, Paris.

1995
“PLEASE DON’T SMILE, FASHION PHOTOS”, personal exhibition at:
Hamiltons, London,
Staley Wise, New York,
Carla Sozzani, Milano,
Agathe Gaillard, Paris.
“LE BESTIAIRE D’HORVAT”, personal exhibition, at Centro Krizia, Milano, Italy.
“LE BESTIAIRE D’HORVAT”, personal exhibition, at Parc Régional de la Bresse, France.

1994
“COLLECTIVE EXHIBITION” of the Select Collection at Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland.
“LE BESTIAIRE D’HORVAT”, personal exhibition, at Centre National de la Photographie, Paris.

1993
“FASHION PHOTOGRAPHS”, as part of “VANITÉS” at Centre National de la Photographie, Paris.
“PERSONAL EXHIBITION”, at Foto-folies, Rodez, France.

1992
“DIGITAL IMAGES”, personal exhibition, at Galerie Pictorial, Paris.
“SCULPTURES BY DEGAS”, as part of collective exhibition “PHOTOGRAPHIE ET SCULPTURE”, at Centre National de la Photographie, Paris.

1991
“FASHION PHOTOGRAPHS”, personal exhibition, at Vision Gallery, San Francisco, USA.
“APPEARANCES”, collective exhibition, at Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
“RETROSPECTIVE EXHIBITION”, at Galerie du Chateau d’Eau, Toulouse, France.

1990
“VRAIES SEMBLANCES”, personal exhibition, Fotofest, Houston, USA.
“VRAIES SEMBLANCES”, personal exhibition, at French Institute, New York.
“FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY”, Personal exhibition, at several FNAC centers in France.
“RETROSPECTIVE”, personal exhibition, at Folio Gallery, Calgary, Canada.
“DIGITAL PRINTS”, personal exhibition, at FNAC, Paris.

1989
“FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY, personal exhibition, at Prinz Gallery, Kyoto, Japan. “PHOTOGRAPHIES DE MODE”, personal exhibition, at Espace Paris-Audiovisuel, Paris.
“ALBUM DE FAMILLE”, personal exhibition, at Comptoir de la Photographie, Paris. “PHOTOGRAPHIES DE MODE”, personal exhibition, at Festival de la Photographie de Mode, Trouville, France.

1988
“FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY”, personal exhibition, at Centre Culturel Français, Prag, Czechoslovakia.
“PHOTOGRAPHES ET CRÉATEURS DE MODE”, personal exhibition, at Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris.
“FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY”, personal exhibition, at Bell Commons Space, Tokyo.

1987
“HOMMAGE À FERRARI”, personal exhibition, at Fondation Cartier, Jouy-en-Josas, France.

1986
“VRAIES SEMBLANCES”, personal exhibition, at Galleria Novecento, Palermo, Italy.
“VRAIES SEMBLANCES”, collective exhibition, at Photokina, Köln, Germany.
“VRAIES SEMBLANCES”, personal exhibition, and
“SCULPTURES BY RODIN” at Centre Culturel, Verrières, France.

1985
“PHOTOGRAPHIES DE MODE”, personal exhibition, at Centre d’Art Centemporain, Montbéliard, France.
“AKT PHOTOGRAPHIE”, collective exhibition, at Stadtmuseum, München, Germany.
“FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY”, collective exhibition, at Victoria and Albert Museum, London. “TREES”, personal exhibition, in Berlin-Neukölln, Germany.

1984
“ARBRES”, personal exhibition, at Centre Culturel, Toulon, France.
“FASHION PHOTOGRAPHS”, personal exhibition, at Sander Gallery, New York.
“RENAULT”, collective exhibition, Centre Kodak, Paris.
“REGARDS SUR L’ARCHITECTURE”, collective exhibition, Angers, France.

1983
“ARBRES”, collective exhibition, at Centre Pompidou, Paris.
“ARBRES”, personal exhibition, at Maison de la Culture, Angoulème, France.
“ARBRES”, personal exhibition, at La Chambre Claire, Paris.
“VRAIES SEMBLANCES”, personal exhibition, at Espace Canon, Paris.

1982
“TREES”, personal exhibition, at National Museum, Malta.
“PARIS-PARIS”, collective exhibition, Centre Pompidou, Paris.

1981“30 ANNEES DE BONHEUR”, personal exhibition, at Galerie Mamya, Paris.
“TREES”, personal exhibition, at Galleria Novecento, Palermo, Italy.
“TREES”, personal exhibition, at Zeit Gallery, Tokyo.

1980
“ARBRES”, personal exhibition, at Artcurial Gallery, Paris.
“30 HAPPY YEARS”, personal exhibition, at Photographers Gallery, London.

1979
“TREES”, personal exhibition, at ICP New York.

1978
“TREES”, personal exhibition, at Photographers Gallery, London.

1977
“ARBRES”, personal exhibition, at Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Nantes, France.

1955
“MUSLIM WEDDING” in FAMILY OF MAN, MOMA, New York.

PUBLICATIONS

1957 : La capture des éléphants sauvages, Editions Louvois, Paris, ASIN B003WPVD3I

1962 : J’aime la télévision, Editions Rencontre, Lausanne, Switzerland (text by Max Egli), ASIN B00J7TN9MQ

1962 : J’aime le strip-tease, Editions Rencontre, Lausanne, Switzerland (text by Patrik Lindermohr), ASIN B00181B2TI

1979 : The Tree Aurum Press – London and little brown, New York (text by John Fowles), ISBN 0906053048

1982 : Goethe in Sicilia, Edizioni Novecento, Palermo, Italy[24]

1990 : Entre vues, Éditions Nathan, Paris, ISBN 9782092400333

1991 : Degas sculptures, Imprimerie nationale, Paris, ISBN 9782110811424

1992 : Yao le chat botté, Éditions Gautier-Languereau, Paris, ISBN 9782010200731

1994 : Arbres, Imprimerie nationale, Paris, ISBN 9782110813091

1994 : Le Bestiaire d’Horvat, CNP et Actes Sud, ISBN 9782742703739

1996 : Paris-Londres, London-Paris, Éditions de la Ville de Paris, ISBN 9782879002910

1996 : De la Mode et des Jardins, Éditions de l’Imprimerie Nationale, Paris, ISBN 9782743301644

1998 : 51 Photographs in Black and White, Dewi Lewis, Manchester, ISBN 9781899235469

1999 : Very Similar, Dewi Lewis, Manchester, ISBN 9781899235575

2000 : Frank Horvat, Photopoche no 88, Delpire et Nathan, Paris, ISBN 9782097541437

2000 : 1999: A Daily Report, Dewi Lewis, Manchester, ISBN 9781899235186

2001 : Figures romanes, Éditions du Seuil, Paris, ISBN 9782020933841

2002 : Homenatge a Catalunya, Foundation Privada Vila Casas, Barcelona[25]

2004 : Time Machine – a trip around the world, 1962–1963, OFF Publications, Boulogne-Billancourt, France[26]

2004 : La Véronique, thirty meters around my house in Provence, introduction by Renaud Camus, OFF Publications, published by Frank Horvat, Boulogne-Billancourt, France[26][27]

2005 : Horvat photographie Couturier, Gallimard and Musée Maillol, Paris, ISBN 9782910826420

2006 : The Horvat Labyrinth, Éditions du Chêne, Hachette, Paris, ISBN 9782842777203

2008 : De bocche-tette-culi-cazzi-e-mone, illustrations to the erotic poems by Zorzi Baffo, a Venetian aristocrat of the 18th century, OFF Publications, published by Frank Horvat, Boulogne-Billancourt, France[28]

2009 : Adele Edelstein (About My Mother), OFF Publications, published by Frank Horvat, Boulogne-Billancourt, France[27]

2009 : Dr. Karl Horvat (About My Father), OFF Publications, published by Frank Horvat, Boulogne-Billancourt, France[27]

2009 : New York Up and Down (with a text by Franz Kafka), OFF Publications, published by Frank Horvat, Boulogne-Billancourt, France[27][29]

2009 : Masken und Mandarinen (with texts by the German poetess Ingrid Mylo), OFF Publications, published by Frank Horvat, Boulogne-Billancourt, France[27]

2013 : House of Fifteen Keys, (with texts by Jean-Noël Jeanneney), published by Terre Bleue, ISBN 978-2-909953-30-4