Harry Guttman was born in Bucharest, Romania in 1933. He attended Jewish schools throughout his youth, graduating from high school in 1948. He continued his education at Art Licuem in Bucharest and graduated in 1954. Guttman graduated with distinction from the Romanian Academy of Fine Art in 1960, having received tutoring under some of Romanian's premier artists, such as Victor Brauner, Jacques Herold, Marcel Uanco, Israti and Dumitresco.
Guttman became a member of the Romanian Association of Painters at age twenty-eight. Many of his paintings and lithographs were purchased and displayed at the official exhibitions by the Romanian Government. During this time, Guttman was working as an illustrator, doing artwork for book jackets and movie posters. His first one-man show was exhibited in Magheru Gallery in Bucharest in 1963. He traveled to Moscow and Leningrad in 1964 for further studies.
In 1966, he won third prize at the International Movie Posters Competition in Moscow for his poster for the German film "Goya". During the next several years, Guttman participated in group exhibitions throughout Europe. He then traveled to Budapest and Prague for a year of studies in 1968, following that up with a trip to Poland in 1969 for additional studies.
With the loosening of the "iron curtain" in Europe, Guttman was able to emigrate to Israel in 1974. Since that time he has been extremely active, putting on one-man shows throughout Europe, Israel and North America. Guttman's work has been described by art critics as having a "celestial cleanness and finesse, reminding one of classical icons ... the three most important subjects of his artwork are women, representing life and tenderness, and dancers and buildings, both of which are usually floating, which serve to remind the viewer of the security of life and love."