Alexandra, 1982

  • Frank Horvat

    Alexandra, 1982

    Dye Transfer Print



    Image size: 14 H x 9.38 W in.

    Sheet size: 22.63 H x 19.5 W in. 


    Signed, titled and dated in pencil on verso.


  • Frank Horvat (born April 28, 1928) is a photographer who presently lives and works in France. He is best known for his fashion photography, published between the mid-1950s and the late 1980s, but his photographic opus includes photojournalism, portraiture, landscape, nature, and sculpture. In 1988, he produced a book of interviews with fellow photographers such as Don McCullin, Robert Doisneau, Sarah Moon, Helmut Newton, and Marc Riboud. At the beginning of the 1990s, he was one of the first major photographers to experiment with Photoshop. In 1998, he replaced his professional equipment with a compact camera. In 2011, he introduced Horvatland, an online iPad application. Horvat was born in Abbazia, Italy (now Opatija, Croatia) into a Jewish family from Central Europe (his father, Karl, was a Hungarian general physician and his mother, Adele, was a psychiatrist from Vienna), Horvat has lived in several countries including Switzerland, Italy, Pakistan, India, England, and America). In 1955, he settled in France. Horvat acknowledges having been strongly influenced by 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. One of his photographs is included in the famous "Family of Man" exhibit at the MOMA in New York City. 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. The 1960s and 1970s 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 the 1980s, Horvat suffered from an eye disease. 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. A few years later, he produced A Trip to Carrara. His later projects are 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. The eye at the Fingertips, started in 2006 and still in progress, is photographed with a digital compact camera. His latest enterprise is an iPad application called Horvatland, which contains more than 2,000 photos produced over the course of 65 years with 20 hours of commentary. In 2008, he received the La Fondazione del Centenario Award in Lugano, Switzerland, for his contribution to European culture.


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