Thames & Hudson’s recent (2022) publication of works by the Belgian Magnum photographer Harry Gruyaert offers a visually engrossing survey true to its title. Between Worlds takes us on an often kaleidoscopic, peripatetic journey through liminal space. In the photographer’s keen observations we are offered complex glimpses into realms of our everyday layered and fragmented world – slices that we mostly overlook in all the busyness of moving from one place to another. Through Gruyaert’s selective eye and camera we are offered privileged access, allowed to rest between observed and subjective experiences; between the solid and reflected, between reality and illusion, light and shadow, figure and ground – all at once.
To heighten the pleasure of seeing these photographs, Gruyaert’s keen sense of colour, his sensitivity to quality of light, and strong formal compositions often coalesce, verging on the purely abstract. I found myself staring into many of the images for long stretches, wilfully taking the time to gaze ever deeper, and allowing my mind to wander through a myriad of details, shapes and colours, as if in a daydream.
The book is punctuated with an engaging, intelligent essay by David Campany.
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