About Swiss Magnum photographer René BURRI (1933-2014)

René BURRI spent his early years studying composition, colour and design at the School for Arts and Crafts in Zurich. It was during his military service that he first used a Leica camera. Shortly after, he also developed an interest in film, and from 1953–55 he worked as a documentary filmmaker. His life changed forever when the well-known photographer Werner BISCHOF introduced him to the prestigious photography agency Magnum Photos. Shortly after joining MAGNUM, his first reportage appeared in Life magazine. He was not exclusively concerned with pressing the shutter release of the camera at the right time and in the right place, but with the skill of post-processing images. He paid equal attention to the choice of image detail, the highlighting of certain picture elements, and the typography of the legends. Like a graphic artist, he paid attention to the overall visual impression. For him, the images represented a newly composed reflection of reality, not a depicted reality. In later years, he reworked his black-and-white images by overpainting and photomontage. With his work, René BURRI, along with others, perpetuated the history of man with which Edward STEICHEN sought to promote understanding between people in his 1955 traveling exhibition 'The Family of Man' after the experiences of war. In 2014, René BURRI died in Zurich.

Photo books (a selection)

  • 'Die Deutschen' (The Germans, 1962, 1986, 1990, 1999, out of print); 'Che Guevara' (1977); 'One World. Photographs and collages 1950-1983' (1984); 'An American Dream: Photographs from the World of NASA and the Pentagon' (1986); 'Gauchos' (1994); 'Cuba y Cuba' (1995); '77 Strange Sensations' (1998, out of print); 'Berner Blitz' (2003, out of print); 'Fotografien, out of print' (2005, 2007); 'Nous Sommes Treize a Table' (2008, out of print); 'Blackout New York: November 9, 1965' (2009, out of print); 'Brasilia' (2011); 'Impossible Reminiscences' (2013); 'Mouvement' (2015, 2016); 'Explosions of Sight' (2020)

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In out-of-print photo book 'Die Deutschen', René BURRI mainly depicts everyday life in Germany, where the bullet holes from the war can still be seen on the wall of the building. Hepursued his project for many decades. In 1986 and 1999, it was republished
0,00 € * Weight 1.5 kg
The volume 'Berner Blitz' by René BURRI is the first to focus on his photographs in color, in which he processed diverse motifs such as nature, religion, industry, politics and architecture. The photographic book was printed on polypropylene 'paper'.
30,00 € * Weight 0.7 kg
'Mouvement' about René BURRI gives an overview about his work which has written history. Removed from sensationalism yet no less striking are his images of the theater of war, of people suffering in poverty & with equal intensity to the spheres of beauty.
75,00 € * Weight 2.7 kg
The out-of-print 'Zeitblende' was published on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the famous photo agency Magnum. The picture & text book provides an overview of the impressive field of reportage photography that is commensurate with its significance
0,00 € * Weight 2.4 kg
In over 400 duotone images, out-of-print book 'Fotografien' on the work by Swiss René BURRI - edited & compiled by Hans-Michael Koetzle - shows his unique relationship to the major political events, key politicians, artists & cultural figures of his time.
0,00 € * Weight 2.8 kg
SIGNED! 'Reden wir über Fotografie" (Let's talk about photography) is a collection of essays and interviews by photo historian Hans-Michael Koetzle. He accompanies us on amazing paths through the history & present of photography, an alway in flux medium.
29,80 € * Weight 0.4 kg
The out-of-print 'Impossible Reminiscences' shows the world through the eyes of René BURRI and demonstrates how he filtered the world around him through his camera lens. He talks openly about the inspirations, motivations and events surrounding each photo
0,00 € * Weight 2 kg
The catalog 'Explosion des Sehens' (Explosion of Sight) provides an insight into the work of Magnum member René Burri. It contains previously unpublished material and documents the diversity of his work - book & exhibition design, collages & watercolors.
19,95 € * Weight 0.9 kg
This out-of-print photographic volume, 'Blackout New York' by René BURRI, is a meditation on light and its absence, a reflection on seeing - and thus on photography itself. It tells the story of how people lose something they take for granted: light.
298,00 € * Weight 0.9 kg
Exhibitions
  • 1966: 'China', Gallery Form, Zurich
    1967: 'Rene Burri Retrospective', Art Institute, Chicago

    1971: '50 Photographs', Galerie Rencontre, Paris
    1972: 'René Burri Retrospective', Raffi Photo Gallery, New York; Il Diaframma, Milan
    1980/1981: 'The Germans', Folkwang Museum, Essen; Gallery Rudolf Kicken, Cologne; Nagel Gallery, Berlin
    1984/1985: 'One World', Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich; Bern Photo Gallery, Bern; Center National de la Photographie et Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Musée des arts décoratifs, Lausanne (1985–1995 also in New Delhi, Havana, New York, Bratislava and Ostrava)
    1987: 'Dans la familiarité de Corbu', Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne. 'An American Dream', International Center of Photography (ICP), New York
    1994: 'Dialogue avec Le Corbusier', Museo de arte moderno de Medellàn, Medellàn (1995 also in Curitiba, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia and Lima)
    1995: 'Le Paris de René Burri', Center Culturel Suisse, Paris; 1997: Che, Fnac Forum, Paris; Galerie R. Mangisch, Zurich (until 2001 also in Barcelona, Lille and Lisbon) 1998: '77 Strange Sensations', Villa Tobler, Zurich; 'Die Deutschen', Fotografie Forum International, Frankfurt am Main (until 2003 also in Kaufbeuren, Velbert, Toulouse and in Burghausen) 2002: 'Berner Blitz,' Galerie Karrer, Zurich 2004: 'René Burri – Retrospective 1950-2000', Maison Européenne de la Photographie (MEP), Paris; Musee de l'Elysee, Paris
    2005: 'Utopia – Architecture et Architecte', Hermès Gallery, New York; Leica Gallery, Prague; 'Photos de Jean Tinguely & Cie', Musée Tinguely, Basel; 'Utopia – Architecture et Architecte', exhibition space Klingental, Basel
    2010: 'Vintage Prints', Le Corbusier Museum Bellerive, Zurich; 'I tedeschi. La Germania degli anni Sessanta in a photograph by René Burri', Galleria Sagittaria, Centro Iniziative Culturali Pordeone; 'Photographs', Kunst Haus Wien
    2011: 'Two Worlds', Burgerstocker Gallery, Zurich
    2012: 'Burri in motion – 50 years of cinema', Burgerstocker Gallery, Zurich
    2013: 'Double Life', Museum of Design, Zurich; 2014: OstLicht, Vienna
    2020: 'Explosion of Vision', Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne