Presentation House Gallery
The Polygon Gallery
333 Chesterfield Avenue
North Vancouver, BC V7M 3G9


Thursday, July 16,  7:30 PM
A conversation with Claudia Beck and Andrew Gruft, who will discuss works in the exhibition, Eye to Eye, drawn from their private collection, and their motivations and processes for collecting photography.


Embracing a broad interpretation of portraiture, Eye to Eye brings together a range of prints, videos and books from the nineteenth century to the present day drawn from the collection of Claudia Beck and Andrew Gruft. The exhibition animates the dynamics of looking between photographer and subject, of observing and being observed, through works that foreground the complexities of “capturing” people through a camera. The challenge was aptly framed by Diane Arbus: “What I’m trying to describe is that it is impossible to get out of your skin and into somebody else’s.” The exhibition features classic prints by renowned photographers including Eugène Atget, Bruce Davidson, Robert Frank, Helen Levitt, Daido Moriyama, August Sander, and Edward Weston – as well as contemporary works by Kristen Abdai, Raymond Boisjoly, Anne Collier, Katy Grannan, and Evan Lee among others.

Claudia Beck and Andrew Gruft, who live in Vancouver, have collected photography and media art for four decades. From 1976 to 1982, they operated NOVA Gallery, Vancouver’s first commercial gallery devoted to photography. Their ever-growing collection, which spans from photography’s beginnings in the mid-nineteenth century to the present day, was the focus of a significant exhibition, Real Pictures: Photographs from the Collection of Claudia Beck and Andrew Gruft, at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and accompanying publication.

Eye to Eye is a selection of photographs from the Collection of Claudia Beck and Andrew Gruft and is generously supported by PARC Retirement Living through its membership in the Gallery’s Exhibition Circle.


  • Helen Levitt, Untitled, c.1980, dye transfer print, 23 x 33 cm

  • EYE TO EYE, West Gallery