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Harry Gruyaert: Between Worlds

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Another image from is from Madrid in 1993 and appears to be taken outside a subway car, through a sheet of glass to a man and a woman sitting inside the car. He is the only artist of his stature who has not been represented by a monograph, which the dazzling presentation of images in Richard Smith: Artworks now fulfils. A Traveller’s History of Cyprus” offers a complete and authoritative history of the island’s past and also touches on the sensitive present-day issues for both sides of the island. A collection of seventy-five images that connect one realm with the next, this volume shows that beyond the marvelous colorist that he is, Gruyaert’s images also depict a photographer’s vision of the world. Dissolving the boundaries between the exterior and interior, Between Worlds offers just such a sensory immersion.

His powers of persuasion clearly exceeded those of Colonel Baker, who seemed the personification of Victorian solidity until that embarrassing incident in the sealed railway compartment, where he failed to entice Miss Dickinson to join in his bit of fun, and afterwards had to try and explain his conduct to the High Court, with the whole nation hanging on his every word. With a historical gazetteer, chronology of major events, index, bibliography and historical and contemporary maps, this book is an invaluable companion to students or visitors to the island. A familiar theme, but one that, across the generations, can occasionally unearth something rather powerful.

Tipping over into photography, dissolving the boundaries between exterior and interior spaces, closed world or open world, forgetting oneself in a suspended time. Over the past century, Cuban music has produced a seemingly endless variety of styles―rumba, mambo, son, salsa―at a dizzyingly fast rate. The artwork here reflects both the cultural and musical depth of Cuba as well as the political influence of revolutionary communism. Harry Gruyaert is renowned for his photographs of India, Morocco and Egypt as well as of the west of Ireland, and for his use of colour. That he latterly slipped under the radar to some extent is partly explained by his detachment from the mainstream as well as by his frequent switching of studios between England and the USA, although this helped charge his creative batteries.

His very intuitive and physical sense of place immerses the spectator in a world that borrows simultaneously from the cinematic universe and from that of the painter. Between Worlds, Gruyaert’s new book, is a deeply wonderful new collection of images taken throughout his career.Although Cyprus is a relatively small island, its position in the East Mediterranean has always given it strategic importance beyond its size. It is impossible, looking at this picture, to confidently place where everything in the image is in relationship to each other. He photographs things we’ve all seen – think about TV Shots, his documentary/commentary on British society made of photographs of television screens – but never seen quite the way he does. As a Senior Curator at Tate, Dr Chris Stephens knew Smith well, and he contributes a wide-ranging introduction to Smith’s art and life.

A bit later, Campany continues, “For Gruyaert, making threshold images means bringing together different light levels and different color temperatures. No matter the setting, the country or the era, Gruyaert deploys a luminous alchemy suspended in time.Meet Monsieur Benoit, who appeared suddenly in Paris with a scheme for telegraphing messages across the world (or, at least, across the room) by means of electricity and the telepathic power of snails, and actually raised the money to build this extraordinary machine. At the heart of Cezanne lies a sense of disquiet: a homelessness haunting the vividness, an anxiety underlying the appeal of colour. Since the 1940s a steady stream of Cuban musicians has also made the migration to the US, sparking changes in North American musical forms: bandleader Machito set New York’s jazz and Latin scene on fire, and master drummer Chano Pozo’s entry into Dizzy Gillespie’s group led to the birth of Latin jazz, to name just two.

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