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Mourning Our Artist, Frank Horvat

On Wednesday, 21 October 2020, the great photographer Frank Horvat died at the age of 92 surrounded by family in his adopted city of Paris. 

"Photography for me means to reproduce what I see inside of a rectangle, concentrating on a single moment, rearranging and somehow reinterpreting it. But it is also liberating an emotion, the refinement of a longing," says Frank Horvat about his work. 

Frank Horvat's photography breaks limitations, and even in his fashion photos he doesn't care about "comme il faut". As early as the 1950s he goes out onto the streets, positioning a model in the middle of the farmer’s market for Jours de France (1959). A little later he experiments with boldly cut motifs or amusing film quotes. Horvat usually worked without artificial light and shot many of his fantastic pictures from the hip, so to speak, with a 35-mm Leica. He worked for Elle, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and other big magazines, as well as with famous models and celebrities. Horvat was also one of the first professional photographers ever to use Photoshop in his work. Respect for the women he photographed and a tangible tenderness distinguish Horvat's sensually elegant pictures. 

"He was a great inspiration for all who love photography. His works for Givenchy are unforgettable and still look super modern today. In person he was charming, funny, and allowed you to share his thoughts and dreams," says Hatje Cantz’s photography consultant Nadine Barth.

 After the three editions published by Hatje Cantz, as well as the illustrated books Please Don't Smile (2015), and Photographic Autobiography (2016), we published Side Walk in collaboration with Edition Xavier Barral a week ago. In this personal photo book, Horvat's photographs from New York in the 1980s are juxtaposed with his diary entries from that period: two sides of his work that created true photographic art. 

"We are very pleased that Frank Horvat lived to see the publication of this book—he enjoyed it, and it will become a very personal memory of this vital photographer for all of us. Our thoughts are with his family and close friends," says Nicola von Velsen, publisher. 

October 22, 2020

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