Frank Horvat

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Frank Horvat
Born (1928-04-28) April 28, 1928 (age 92)

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.[1]

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 on-line 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.

The 1950s[edit]

Horvat acknowledges having been strongly influenced by Henri Cartier-Bresson.[2] 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.[3][4][5]

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[6], 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[edit]

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".[7].

The 1980s[edit]

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.

The 1990s[edit]

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.[8] A few years later, he produced A Trip to Carrara.

The Third Millennium[edit]

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. 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.


  • 1957 : La capture des éléphants sauvages, Editions Louvois, Paris
  • 1962 : J'aime la télévision, Editions Rencontre, Lausanne, Switzerland (text by Max Egli)
  • 1962 : J'aime le strip-tease, Editions Rencontre, Lausanne, Switzerland (text by Patrik Lindermohr)
  • 1979 : The Tree Aurum Press - London and little brown, New York (text by John Fowles)
  • 1982 : Goethe in Sicilia, Edizioni Novecento, Palermo, Italy
  • 1990 : Entre vues, Éditions Nathan, Paris,
  • 1991 : Degas sculptures, Imprimerie nationale, Paris
  • 1992 : Yao le chat botté, Éditions Gautier-Languereau, Paris
  • 1994 : Arbres, Imprimerie nationale, Paris
  • 1994 : Le Bestiaire d’Horvat, CNP et Actes Sud
  • 1996 : Paris-Londres, London-Paris, Éditions de la Ville de Paris
  • 1996 : De la Mode et des Jardins, Éditions de l’Imprimerie Nationale, Paris
  • 1998 : 51 Photographs in Black and White, Dewi Lewis, Manchester
  • 1999 : Very Similar, Dewi Lewis, Manchester
  • 2000 : Frank Horvat, Photopoche no 88, Delpire et Nathan, Paris
  • 2000 : 1999-A Daily Report, Dewi Lewis, Manchester
  • 2001 : Figures romanes, Éditions du Seuil, Paris
  • 2002 : Homenatge a Catalunya, Foundation Privada Vila Casas, Barcelona
  • 2004 : Time Machine-a trip around the world, 1962–1963, OFF Publications, Boulogne-Billancourt, France
  • 2004 : La Véronique, thirty meters around my house in Provence, introduction by Renaud Camus, OFF Publications, published by Frank Horvat, Boulogne-Billancourt, France
  • 2005 : Horvat photographie Couturier, Gallimard and Musée Maillol, Paris
  • 2006 : The Horvat Labyrinth, Éditions du Chêne, Hachette, Paris
  • 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
  • 2009 : Adele Edelstein (About My Mother), OFF Publications, published by Frank Horvat, Boulogne-Billancourt, France
  • 2009 : Dr. Karl Horvat (About My Father), OFF Publications, published by Frank Horvat, Boulogne-Billancourt, France
  • 2009 : New York up and down (with a text by Franz Kafka), OFF Publications, published by Frank Horvat, Boulogne-Billancourt, France
  • 2009 : Masken und Mandarinen (with texts by the German poetess Ingrid Mylo), OFF Publications, published by Frank Horvat, Boulogne-Billancourt, France
  • 2013 : House of Fifteen Keys, (with texts by Jean-Noël Jeanneney), published by Terre Bleue, ISBN 978-2-909953-30-4


  • 2014 : House of Fifteen Keys, retrospective exhibition, Palazzo Mediceo di Seravezza, Seravezza Lucca, Italy.[9]


  • Le Procédé Fresson (1986) – by Jean Réal with Michel Fresson, Bernard Faucon, Bernard Plossu, Horvat, etc.
  • Frank Horvat, 1999 – at Arte Television
  • Frank Horvat, Télématin, France 2
  • Fashion Horvat : Frank Horvat Exhibition in North Vancouver, 2012


  1. ^ Contemporary photographers, dir. Martin Marix Evans, article "Horvat Frank", St James Press, Detroit, 1995, pp 508–511.
  2. ^ "L'esprit frondeur de Frank Horvat | PM". PM (in French). 2017-04-15. Retrieved 2017-04-20.
  3. ^ Steichen, Edward; Sandburg, Carl; Norman, Dorothy; Lionni, Leo; Mason, Jerry; Stoller, Ezra; Museum of Modern Art (New York) (1955). The family of man: The photographic exhibition. Published for the Museum of Modern Art by Simon and Schuster in collaboration with the Maco Magazine Corporation.
  4. ^ Hurm, Gerd, 1958-, (editor.); Reitz, Anke, (editor.); Zamir, Shamoon, (editor.) (2018), The family of man revisited : photography in a global age, London I.B.Tauris, ISBN 978-1-78672-297-3CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link) CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)
  5. ^ Sandeen, Eric J (1995), Picturing an exhibition : the family of man and 1950s America (1st ed.), University of New Mexico Press, ISBN 978-0-8263-1558-8
  6. ^ Camera, monthly international magazine about photography, éd. C. J. Bucher, Lucerne, Swiss, 1957.
  7. ^ DE PACE Loredana, "Il labirinto di Horvat" in Foto cult, nov 2011, year VIII, n 82, pp 68–74
  8. ^ BERNARD Hervé, Frank Horvat, le tirage sur ordinateur", Photographie, n. 1494, May 1992, pp 24–27.
  9. ^

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