Photo Poche, the oldest and most prestigious pocket edition dedicated to photography, celebrates its 40th anniversary with a new book dedicated to Frank Horvat, who passed away in October 2020, and edited by Virginie Chardin.
The Photo Poche collection pays tribute to Frank Horvat, who recently passed away at the age of ninety-two, with a new, completely revised edition. It offers a rereading of his work, made possible by the opening of the archives of his studio in Boulogne-Billancourt.
Born in Italy in 1928, Frank Horvat began his career as a photographer in 1950. A first initiatory trip to Pakistan and India from 1952 to 1954 brought him to the attention of the international press and earned him a place in the famous exhibition “The Family of Man” at MoMA in New York in 1955. He settled in Paris at the end of 1955, where he reported for Réalités and Jours de France, which led him to produce several series on prostitution and the spectacles of “Paris by night”, as well as a major personal essay on Paris through a telephoto lens.
These grainy images of Paris made Jacques Moutin, artistic director of Jardin des Modes, notice him and suggest that he apply the style of his urban images to fashion photography. This wind of spontaneity and humor transforms Frank Horvat into a successful photographer, working for major fashion magazines such as Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, Queen or Stern. However, he tries to escape the stereotypes of reportage and fashion photography.
In 1962-1963, he made his first photographic attempt, which took him to twelve major cities around the world: he gave free rein to his fascination for the hours of the night when the masks fall off. In the early 1980s, he turned to New York in search of abandoned individuals, tenderness and personal introspection on the passing of time and his own presence in the world.
From then on, he pursued numerous personal projects guided by his research on color (New York Up & Down project, Trees project from the 70’s), on codes of beauty (Vraies Semblances), his early exploration of digital photography from the 90’s onwards or more intimate research such as his exploration of Europe with 1999 or La Véronique in 2004.
He continues to photograph everyday life until 2020 with L’œil au bout des doigts. For 40 years, he exchanged photos with photographers he valued. This collection of 500 prints illustrates the photographic language to which Frank Horvat belongs.
Virginie Chardin is a specialist in photography and images. She has curated the exhibitions “Willy Ronis in Paris” (2005), “Paris en couleurs” (2007), “Pierre de Fenoÿl” (2015), “Antonin Personnaz” (2020), “Sabine Weiss” (2021). She has been in charge of the image pole of Chalon-sur-Saône (1998-2000), responsible for the awards of the Rencontres d’Arles (2002-2003) and artistic delegate of the Month of Photography in Paris (2004). She is the author of several books in the Photo Poche collection, including Ernst Haas (Actes Sud, 2010) and Sabine Weiss (Actes Sud, 2021).
Photo Poche – Frank Horvat
A book directed by Virginie Chardin
12.50 x 19.00 cm
Available in bookshops and on the Actes Sud website