Black & white and color
& collect
René Burri: “As a photographer I have led a double life – one in black and white and one in color.” This exhibition was first mounted at the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich and is now on view at the Gallery Ostlicht in Vienna. All images courtesy of Ostlicht, Vienna.
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Che Guevara smoking a cigar, Pablo Picasso in the bullring, Alberto Giacometti in his studio or Le Corbusier while designing - Réne Burri helped shape the history of photography in the 20th century with his photographs and reportages. Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Ministry of Industry, Havana, Cuba, 1963 © René Burri / Magnum Photos
Beirut, Lebanon, 1991, © René Burri / Magnum Photos
Always, though usually very subtle, a social, political, historical message resonates, which often only becomes apparent at a second glance. Bahia, Brazil, 1977, © René Burri / Magnum Photos
He dares to create bold details and perspectives, playing with reflections, sharpness and blur. Suez Canal, Egypt, 1956, © René Burri / Magnum Photos
It was during his military service that Burri first used a Leica camera. Shortly after, he also developed an interest in film, and between 1953-1955 he worked as a documentary filmmaker. Burri’s life changed forever when the well-known photographer Werner Bischoff introduced him to the prestigious photography agency Magnum Photos. After joining Magnum in 1959, his first reportage appeared in Life magazine and he subsequently worked for more major news magazines including Look, Bunte, Stern, Geo, Paris Match, Schweizer Illustrierte and Du. In the Ministry of Health, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 1960 © René Burri / Magnum Photos
Chicago, Illinois, USA, 1971, © René Burri / Magnum Photos
Beirut, Lebanon, 1991, © René Burri / Magnum Photos
Havanna, Cuba, 1987, © René Burri / Magnum Photos
In addition, Burri belongs to the protagonists of a color photography with artistic aspirations. Instead they reflect an interplay of shapes and colors, often opening up confusing, enigmatic views and vistas. San Cristobál, Mexiko, 1976, © René Burri / Magnum Photos / Barragan Foundation
Burri’s diverse body of work ranges from reportages in the Middle East and Maoist China, to personal photo essays on the Germans and NASA. The Island, United Arab Emirates, 1976, © René Burri / Magnum Photos
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