Paris-based Florence Gruere, originally a filmmaker, turned to fine art photography in the early 1970s. She began making portraits, an ongoing preoccupation and an emotional process for her as she sought to reveal the subtleties of personality. In Sharp Contrasts Gruere exhibits a series of portraits made in the 1970s of well-known photographers, among them Man Ray, André Kertész, and Jacques Henri Lartigue; each photograph is heavily imbued with shadow and mood.
Gruere also focuses her lens on the broader aspects of life in Paris -- for example, autumn along the Seine -- capturing the character of the city without romanticizing her subject. These paisages are delicate contrasts of light and dark which invite the viewer in for closer inspection and revelation. The same is true for her photographs of female nudes, a series that she began in 2000 in which she uses the same lens utilized in her other work.
Fascinated by technique, Gruere set out in the mid-1990s to learn how to print using the gum bichromate process. She recently commented, "My pictures have sharp contrast; they focus on the essential, the main features rather than the details, a fact that is reinforced when using the gum process."