Henriette Grindat

A poetics of forms
19.09 – 03.11.2023 UBS Hall, Place St-François 16, Lausanne

An important figure from Lausanne in the history of photography, Henriette Grindat (1923-1986) began her career at the École de photographie de Suisse romande in Lausanne, then in Vevey, working with photographer Gertrude Fehr (1895-1996).

Following her training, she moved to Paris in 1949, where she devoted herself to her passion for the arts, literature and poetry. Alongside her early images inspired by Surrealism, she worked as a freelance photographer for numerous magazines and journals, including Du, US Camera and L'Œil. A key figure in post-war Swiss photographic publishing, she specialized in travel reports, and in 1952 joined the Guilde du livre publishing house in Lausanne. Here, she produced several books, including Lausanne (1952), Algérie (1956), Méditerranée (1957) and Le Nil (1960).

From the 1950s onwards, Henriette Grindat developed a personal photographic language and formal research that boldly emphasized her environment. She transcribes reality through images that give pride of place to materials, textures, light and its reflections. Folds, cracks, gaps, movements and bulges resonate in each of her graphic cadences. She reveals meticulous work on the depth of blacks and shades of gray. Considering photography as a genuine artistic tool, she claims to be an auteur, gradually distancing herself from documentary photography.

Her fascination with the body plays an important role in her work. In her intimate photography, she captures the expressions of those closest to her through close-up shots, in the image of her companion Albert-Edgar Yersin (1905-1984).

In her photographs, we find a boundless freedom, where daydreaming is made possible and the narratives she unfolds are timeless.

Practical information

From September 19 to November 3, 2023
Public opening on September 20, 2023 at 6pm

From Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm
UBS Hall, Place St-François 16, Lausanne
Free entrance

exhibition views


The exhibition Henriette Grindat. A poetics of forms is part of UBS support to Photo Elysée.