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Irish Summers brings together a selection of images Harry Gruyaert made on trips to Ireland over the period 1983-84. While some of these photographs are included in a number of Gruyaert’s previous projects and books (e.g. ‘Rivages’/‘Edges’), this is the first time that they are presented as a series.
For Gruyaert, who turns 80 next year, travelling has always been a way of breathing. Most of his well-known photographs were taken during numerous trips around the world and are often immortalized in thematic books, such as Gruyaert’s publications about Morocco, Moscow, or his upcoming volume on India (scheduled to appear with Editions Xavier Barral this fall). Wherever he goes, the artist’s main concern is to tell something about the country and time by means of photographing its specific colour palette and light, and this without a predetermined agenda or story he wants to tell. This also accounts for Gruyaert’s images of Ireland, the island he crossed in 1983-84 in his Volkswagen van, capturing the country’s outstanding natural beauty and distinctive popular culture along the way.
The portraits on view of stolen moments of happiness and collective recreation of the Irish working class of the 1980s on one of those rare sunny summer days, illustrate Gruyaert’s interest in complex, borderline chaotic images and his ability to capture the ‘decisive moment’ on film. In these colourful tableaux of groups of sunbathing friends and families, not devoid of a touch of humour, the subjects are very present.
Published by Gallery Fifty One
Softcover with flaps
210 x 150 mm