February 20, 2003 through April 5, 2003
Opening Reception, Thursday, February 20, 7 - 9 p.m.
The Fahey/Klein Gallery is pleased to present the photographs of Frank Horvat, in his first one-person exhibition in Los Angeles. Laced with humor, these extraordinary images taken mostly in France and England, in the fifties and sixties, melds documentary and fashion photography techniques with a delicate sense of aesthetics.
"Here was a visionary who had been photographing for almost fifty years, unencumbered by commonplace artistic straight jackets, unafraid to experiment, to embrace new technologies, steadfast in his commitment to forge spirit, form, composition and light into powerful narratives, transcending the confines of photographic borders…Whether shot as part of a larger series or as a singular image, each photograph offers an integral story for us to read and explore, each presents a unique visual confrontation for us to face and to facilitate." Eelco Wolf (Fifty one photographs in black and white, Dewi Lewis Publishing).
Frank Horvat's visual anecdotes and intimate stories are set in cafes, afternoons in the park, and nightclubs. In one nightclub a man sits alone with a large bottle of champagne in the Le Sphynx, rue Pigalle, Paris. It is a strip tease show. A nude woman, with skin like a white marble statue, dances past the man. She will exit the stage to meet a smiling woman who stands topless, backstage; her costume is a sash around her waist and a feathered hat. She waits to enter the stage in a room that feels empty except for the man, his hands crossed. He sits in front of a comical mural that reminds one of an excerpt from the Ovid's Metamorphoses.
In another photograph a romantic Paris couple is viewed from above. Their embrace and kiss is intimate. They sit on a lightly colored concrete bench as the darker sidewalk and waterway underneath them creates a simple three part geometric composition. Deliberately framed, they are the center of attention.
Frank Horvat was born in Abbazia (now Croatia) in 1928. Originally studying drawing in Milan, he began his career as a photojournalist then gained notoriety through his fashion photography in the fifties and sixties. He was one of the first to use a 35 mm camera and reportage techniques to fashion photography, creating a new and more realistic style that profoundly influenced the development of this field in England, France, and the United States.