Born in 1941. Belgian.
Harry Gruyaert studied cinema & photography in Brussels from 1959 to 1962. He then became a photographer in Paris, while working as a freelance photography director for the Flemish television between 1963 and 1967.
In 1969, he made the first of a long series of trips to Morocco. From 1970 to 1972 he lived in London. This will be the occasion for unprecedented visual experiments: he decides to “cover” the 1972 Munich Olympic Games as well as the first Apollo flights on the broken television screen at his disposal, by manipulating colors. This series is now part of the Center Georges Pompidou collections in Paris.
Between 1973 and 1980, he undertook a long photo essay on Belgium reconnecting with his roots, photographing first in black & white then in color.
Harry Gruyaert joined the Magnum Photos cooperative in 1982 and continued to travel extensively, particularly in Asia, and to the USA, the Middle East and Soviet Union.
Among these important works, the two editions of Rivages (2003 and 2008), both out of print, and the expanded reissue of 2018, bear witness to Harry Gruyaert’s passion for contrasting environments, colors, and lights.
Among several important exhibitions, the first retrospective was dedicated to him at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris, in 2015, as well as a major exhibition in 2018 at the Fotomuseum in Antwerp.
In the 2000s Harry Gruyaert dropped film for digital. This change made him concerned about the quality of the prints made up until then in cibachrome or sometimes in dye transfer, so he decided to start experimenting at an early stage with inkjet printing. This new technique allowed him to print with more precision by rendering the images exactly how he wanted.
Harry Gruyaert is represented by Galerie FiftyOne, in Antwerp, and Magnum Gallery in Paris.