Frank Horvat (French, b.1928) likes to present himself as “the least-known famous photographer.” He made his début as a photojournalist in the 1950s, and went on to collaborate with numerous fashion magazines, including Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Jardin des Modes. The eclecticism of genres and techniques in Horvat photographs renders his labelling a difficult task, but there is a clear vision throughout, regardless of category or subject. Horvat has been influenced by icons such as Henri Cartier-Bresson (French, 1908–2004), August Sander (German, 1876–1964), and Irving Penn (American, 1917–2009). However, the importance of literature in Horvat’s outlook on Fine Art photography, and the artist’s reflections on the image and its context, result in a very personal aesthetic.

Horvat invented a new way of photographing models for his fashion shoots, though he did so almost reluctantly. He would bring models down into the street and photograph them in real life contexts, amongst the habitués of a neighbourhood bar, or alongside the residents of a small French village. At the beginning of the 1980s, when an illness that affected his eyesight briefly forced him to put his camera aside, Horvat threw himself into a series of interviews with notable photographers, including Helmut Newton (German, 1920–2004), Sarah Moon (French, b.1941), and Robert Doisneau (French, 1912–1994). These interviews became the basis of his Entre Vues series. As early as 1989, Horvat became interested in digital photography. The artist’s curiosity about new technologies inspired him to create an iPad application, Horvatland, which includes more than 2,000 of his photographs, paired with his own audio or written notes.

Horvat’s work has been exhibited at various prestigious international museums. His photographs are held by notable international art institutions, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, NY, and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, France.

Timeline

1928
Born in in Abbazia, Italy
1939–1945
Lived in Lugano, Switzerland
1950
Met Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris
1949–1953
Moved to Milano, Itally and studied at the Accademia di Brera
1952–1953
Travelled to Pakistan and India as free-lance photographer
1954–1955
Moved to London and worked for LIFE and Picture Post
1955
Moved to Paris
1953–1959
Worked at an advertising firm in Milano, Italy
1958–1961
Became part of MAGNUM as an associate photographer
1957–1962
Became a fashion photographer and worked for Jardin des Modes, Elle, Glamour, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, etc.
1962–1963
Worked on two books, Strip-Tease and Television
1986–1987
Worked on "Entre Vues": interviews with famous photographers
1989
Began experimenting with digital imaging
1990–1998
Worked on projects for books, including "Sculptures by Degas", "Bestiarium", "Chimerae", "Ovid's Metamorphases", "Walks Around Boulougne-Billancourt"
2003–2004
Worked on "La Veronique": 50 yards around my house in Provence

Exhibitions

2009
Frank Horvat "Very Similar" Galerie Hiltawsky, Berlin (solo)
2006
Prints in black and white and in colour, Tristan's Gallery, Cornwall, GB
ICONES ET INEDITS, Digital black and white prints, La Maison-pres-Bastille, Paris
2005
Photographs of the sculptures by Robert Couturier, Musee Maillol, Paris
LA VERONIQUE, Assolibri Gallery, Florence, Italy
2004
Archival inkjet prints, Wouter Van Leeuwen Gallery, Amsterdam, Holland
Black and white vintage prints, Janos Gat Gallery, New York, USA
LA VERONIQUE, Nature and Landscape Festival, La Gacilly, France
LA VERONIQUE, Dina Vierny Gallery, Paris
2003
Personal exhibition at Fahey-Klein Gallery, Los Angeles: BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS
Personal retrospective exhibition at Maison de la Photographie, Toulon, France
2002
Personal exhibition at Fundation Vila Casas, Barcelona, Spain : HOMAGE TO CATALONIA
Personal exhibition at Janos Gat Gallery, New York: 1999, A DAILY REPORT
Personal exhibition at Staley Wise Gallery, New York: STRIP-TEASE
Personal exhibition at Haeckelbury Fine Arts, London: BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS
Personal exhibition at Galerie Dina Vierny, Paris : VRAIES SEMBLANCES
Personal exhibition at Fifty-one Fine Art Photography, Antwerpen: BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS
2001
Personal exhibition at Galerie Dina Vierny, Paris: STRIP TEASE
2000
Personal exhibition at Galerie Serge Aboucrat, Paris: MINI-RETROSPECTIVE
Personal exhibition at Jane Jackson Gallery, Atlanta, GA, USA: VERY SIMILAR
Personal exhibition at Galerie in focus, Cologne, Germany: 51 PHOTOGRAPHS IN BLACK & WHITE
Personal exhibition at Sao Paolo, Brasil: FASHION PHOTOGRAPHS
Personal exhibition at Stadtgalerie, Kiel, Germany: NEW YORK UP AND DOWN
Personal ex. Musee Regional des Centovalli, Intragna, Suisse: 51 PHOTOGRAPHS IN BLACK AND WHITE
Personal exhibition at Musee Maillol, Paris: 1999, A DAILY REPORT and PARIS VINTAGE
Personal exhibition at Galleria Assolibri, Firenze, Italy, of 51 PHOTOGRAPHS IN BLACK AND WHITE
1999
Personal exhibition at Casa di Goethe, Rome: GOETHE IN SICILY
Personal exhibition at the Zoological Museum in Kiel, Germany: HORVAT'S BESTIARY
Personal exhibition at Hackelbury Fine Arts, London: VERY SIMILAR
1998
Personal exhibition "GOETHE IN SICILY" at Goethe-Haus, Frankfurt a.M., Germany
Personal exhibition "51 PHOTOGRAPHIES EN NOIR ET BLANC" and - "70 ANS-70 PHOTOS", at Galerie Esther Woerdehoff, Paris
"VRAIES SEMBLANCES, Institut Francais, Valence
"51 BLACK AND WHITE PHOTOGRAPHS" Galeria Railowski
1997
Personal exhibition at Photographie-Forum, Frankfurt a.M., Germany
Personal exhibition at Institut Francais, Prag, Czech Republic
Personal exhibition at Institut Francais, Bratislava, Slovakia
Personal exhibition "VINTAGE PRINTS" at Staley-Wise Gallery, New York
Personal exhibition "HIGH FASHION PHOTOGRAPHS IN ROME, FOR HARPER'S BAZAAR", at Galleria Acta International, Rome, Italy
1995
Personal exhibition "PLEASE DON'T SMILE " at Hamiltons, London, Staley Wise, New York, Carla Sozzani, Milano, Agathe Gaillard, Paris
Personal exhibition "LE BESTIAIRE D'HORVAT" at Centro Krizia, Milano, Italy
Personal exhibition "LE BESTIAIRE D'HORVAT" at Parc Regional de la Bresse, France
Personal exhibition "FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY" at Fotofest, Houston, USA
1994
Collective exhibition of the SELECT COLLECTION at Musee de l'Elysee, Lausanne, Switzerland
Personal exhibition "LE BESTIAIRE D'HORVAT", at Centre National de la Photographie, Paris
1993
FASHION PHOTOGRAPHS" as part of "VANITES" at Centre National de la Photographie, Paris
Personal exhibition at Foto-folies, Rodez, France.
1992
Personal exhibition "DIGITAL IMAGES", at Galerie Pictorial, Paris
"SCULPTURES BY DEGAS", as part of collective exhibition "PHOTOGRAPHIE ET SCULPTURE", at Centre National de la Photographie, Paris
1991
Personal exhibition at Vision Gallery, San Francisco, USA
Retrospective exhibition at Galerie du Chateau d'Eau, Toulouse, France
1990
Personal exhibition "VRAIES SEMBLANCES", Fotofest, Houston, USA
Personal exhibition "VRAIES SEMBLANCES" at French Institute, New York
Personal exhibition "FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY" at several FNAC centers in France
Personal exhibition at Folio Gallery, Calgary, Canada
Personal exhibition "DIGITAL PRINTS" at FNAC, Paris
1989
Personal exhibition "FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY, at Prinz Gallery, Kyoto, Japan
Personal exhibition "PHOTOGRAPHIES DE MODE" at Espace Paris-Audiovisuel, Paris
Personal exhibition "ALBUM DE FAMILLE " at Comptoir de la Photographie, Paris
Personal exhibition "DIGITAL PRINTS" at FNAC, Paris
1988
Personal exhibition "FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY" at Centre Culturel Francais, Prag, Czechoslovakia
Personal exhibition "FASHION PHOTOGRAPHY" at Bell Commons Space, Tokyo
1987
Personal exhibition "HOMMAGE A FERRARI" at Fondation Cartier, Jouy-en-Josas, France
1986
Personal exhibition "VRAIES SEMBLANCES", at Galleria Novecento, Palermo, Italy
Personal exhibition "VRAIES SEMBLANCES"+" SCULPTURES BY RODIN" Ctr. Culturel, Verrieres, France
1985
Personal exhibition "PHOTOGRAPHIES DE MODE" at Centre d'Art Centemporain, Montbeliard, France
Personal exhibition "TREES", in Berlin-Neukolln, Germany
1984
Personal exhibition "ARBRES" at Centre Culturel, Toulon, France
Personal exhibition "FASHION PHOTOGRAPHS at Sander Gallery, New York
1983
Collective exhibition "ARBRES" at Centre Pompidou, Paris
Personal exhibition "ARBRES" at Maison de la Culture, Angouleme, France
Personal exhibition "ARBRES" at La Chambre Claire, Paris
Personal exhibition "VRAIES SEMBLANCES" at Espace Canon, Paris
1982
Personal exhibition "TREES" at National Museum, Malta
Collective exhibition "PARIS-PARIS", Centre Pompidou, Paris.
1981
Personal exhibition "30 ANNEES DE BONHEUR" at Galerie Mamya, Paris
Personal exhibition "TREES" at Galleria Novecento, Palermo, Italy
Personal exhibition "TREES" at Zeit Gallery, Tokyo
1980
Personal exhibition "ARBRES" at Artcurial Gallery, Paris
Personal exhibition "30 HAPPY YEARS" at Photographers Gallery, London
1978
Personal exhibition "TREES" at Photographers Gallery, London
1977
Personal exhibition "ARBRES" at Musee des Arts Decoratifs, Nantes, France
1955
One photograph ("Muslim Wedding") in FAMILY OF MAN, MOMA, New York