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René Burri
René Burri

René Burri

Country: Switzerland
Birth: 1933 | Death: 2014

René Burri is a Swiss photographer known for his photos of major political, historical and cultural events and key figures of the second half of the 20th century. Burri worked for Magnum Photos and has been photographing political, military and artistic figures and scenes since 1946. He has made portraits of Che Guevara and Pablo Picasso as well as iconic pictures of São Paulo and Brasília.

Burri studied in Zurich, Switzerland at the School of Applied Arts from 1949 to 1953, where he worked under Hans Finsler, Alfred Willimann and Johannes Itten. From 1953 to 1955 he began working as a documentary filmmaker while completing military service. During this time he also began working with Leica cameras. Then he worked for Disney as a cameraman until 1955. From 1956 to 1959 he traveled extensively to places including Turkey, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Brazil, and Japan, which led to publications in Life, Look, Stern, Paris-Match, Epoca, and New York Times, as well as a photographic essay "El Gaucho" which appeared in Du.

Burri first began working with Magnum Photos in 1955 through Werner Bischof, becoming a full member in 1959 and being elected chair of Magnum France in 1982. His first report "Touch of Music for the Deaf" on deaf-mute children was published by Life. In 1965 he assisted with the creation of Magnum Films which lead to his work on the Magnum-BBC joint production of, The Two Faces of China. In 1967 he produced a documentary on the Six-Day War in Jerusalem for German television. He produced the film Jean Tinguely in 1972.

In 1963 Burri was working in Cuba when he was able to photograph the revolutionary Che Guevara; these images of Guevara smoking a cigar have become iconic. Notably, after taking the photos, Burri remembers Guevara "scaring the hell out of him". Describing a situation where an angry Che was pacing his tiny office like "a caged tiger", while being interviewed by an American woman from Look. While "hectoring" the reporter and "chomping on his cigar", Che suddenly looked Burri straight in the eye and told him "if I catch up with your friend Andy, I'll cut his throat" (while slowly drawing his finger across his neck). Andy was Andrew St. George, a fellow Magnum photographer, who had travelled with Che in the Sierra Maestra, and then later filed reports for American intelligence.

Source: Wikipedia


René Burri studied at the School of Applied Arts in his native city of Zurich, Switzerland. From 1953 to 1955 he worked as a documentary film-maker and began to use a Leica while doing his military service.

Burri became an associate of Magnum in 1955 and received international attention for one of his first reportages, on deaf-mute children, Touch of Music for the Deaf, published in LIFE magazine.

In 1956, he traveled throughout Europe and the Middle East and then went to Latin America, where he made a series on the Gauchos that was published by Du magazine in 1959. It was also for this Swiss periodical that he photographed artists such as Picasso, Giacometti, and Le Corbusier.

He became a full member of Magnum in 1959, and started work on his book Die Deutschen, published in Switzerland in 1962, and by Robert Delpire the following year with the title Les Allemands.

In 1963, while working in Cuba, he photographed Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara during an interview with an American journalist. His images of the famous revolutionary with his cigar appeared around the world.

Burri participated in the creation of Magnum Films in 1965 and afterwards spent six months in China, where he made the film The Two Faces of China produced by the BBC. He opened the Magnum Gallery in Paris in 1962, while continuing his activities as a photographer; at the same time, he made collages and drawings.

In 1998, Burri won the Dr. Erich Salomon Prize from the German Association of Photography. A big retrospective of his work was held in 2004-2005 at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie in Paris and toured many other European museums.

René Burri passed away at the age of 81 on October 20, 2014.

Source: Magnum Photos

 

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The two moved in together, and remained together for the next ten years in Carmel, California. Here, Bernhard worked with Group f/64. Soon, finding Carmel a difficult place in which to earn a living, they moved to Hollywood where she fashioned a career as a commercial photographer. In 1953, they moved to San Francisco where she became a colleague of photographers such as Ansel Adams, Imogen Cunningham, Minor White, and Wynn Bullock. Most of Bernhard's work is studio-based, ranging from simple still lifes to complex nudes. In the 1940s she worked with the conchologist Jean Schwengel. She worked almost exclusively in black-and-white, though there are rumors that she had done some color work as well. She also is known for her lesbian themed works, most notably Two Forms (1962). In that work, a black woman and a white woman who were real-life lovers are featured with their nude bodies pressed against one another. In 1967, Bernhard began a teaching career. 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Williams approached New York Graphics Society, and several other photographic book publishers, but was advised that "only Ansel Adams could sell black-and-white photography books." Bernhard and Williams decided to sell five limited edition prints to raise the necessary funds to publish a superior quality book of Ruth Bernhard nudes. The ensuing edition was produced by David Gray Gardner of Gardner Lithograph, (also the printer of Adams's books) and was called The Eternal Body. It won Photography Book of the Year in 1986 from Friends of Photography. This book was often credited by Ruth Bernhard as being an immeasurable help to her future career and public recognition. The Eternal Body was reprinted by Chronicle Books and later as a deluxe limited Centennial Edition in celebration of Ruth Bernhard's 100th birthday in October 2005. Carol Williams credited Ruth Bernhard with encouraging her to venture into book publishing, and later published several other photographic monographs. In the 1980s Bernhard also started to work with Joe Folberg. Folberg bought Vision Gallery from Douglas Elliott (who founded it in 1979) in San Francisco in 1982. Bernhard and Folberg worked together until Folberg's death. The gallery split with Debra Heimerdinger taking over operations in North America and Folberg's son Neil moving the "Vision Gallery" to Jerusalem. In 1984 Ruth worked with filmmaker Robert Burrill on her autobiographic film entitled, Illuminations: Ruth Bernhard, Photographer. The film premièred in 1989 at the Kabuki Theater in San Francisco and on local PBS station KQED in 1991. Bernhard was inducted into the Women's Caucus for Art in 1981. Bernhard was hailed by Ansel Adams as "the greatest photographer of the nude". Bernhard died in San Francisco at age 101.Source: Wikipedia
Builder Levy
United States
New Yorker Builder Levy has been photographing America and her inhabitants for the past 50 years. His social consciousness took him to significant areas of our country during tumultuous times. His commitment to aesthetically [or artistically] documenting the world around him earned him the prestigious Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008. Levy's work is in more than 50 public collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, High Museum of Art, International Center of Photography, Victoria and Albert Museum, and La Bibliotheque Nationale. He is also the author of two published photographic books. Source: Arnika Dawkins Gallery Intertwining social documentary, art and street photography, Builder Levy has been making photographs as objects of art that celebrate the human spirit for almost fifty years. He was awarded a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship (’08), an Alicia Patterson Foundation Fellowship (‘04), a Furthermore Grant (‘03), Puffin Foundation Grant (‘01), and National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship in Photography (‘82), and two commissions from the Appalachian College Association (’95 and ‘02). Levy’s two books are Images of Appalachian Coalfields, Temple Univ. Press, with a foreword by Cornell Capa, and Builder Levy Photographer, A.R.T. Press, with an introduction by noted photo historian Naomi Rosenblum. Levy has exhibited in more than 200 shows, including more than 50 one-person exhibitions in New York City, throughout the United States and around the world. In the Fall 2011, he is included in the exhibits Coal + Ice, curated by Susan Meiselas & Jeroen de Vries, a project of the Asia Society, at the Three Shadows Art Centre in Beijing; Posing Beauty, curated by Deborah Willis at Fisher Museum of Art, USC, Los Angeles (9/11-12/11); Photo Folio at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (10/11-1/12); at the Arnika Dawkins Gallery (Black & White and Color), (with 13 photographs) (10/1-10/29/11) in conjunction with Atlanta Celebrates Photography; and Mirrors and Reflections: A Group Show, curated by Evelyne Z. Daitz with co-curator Alison Bradley at the Robert Anderson Gallery at 24 West 57th Street, New York (11/17/11-1/7/12) The High Museum of Art included Levy’s photographs in the historic exhibition, Road to Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956-1968 (and the accompanying eponymous book/catalogue), curated by Julian Cox. It opened at the High Museum of Art in 2008, and traveled for two years to museums in D.C., Chicago, Los Angeles and New York City. The Rubin Museum of Art in NYC featured 14 of Levy’s photographs in the show Mongolia: Beyond Chinggis Khan, 11/06-4/07. Levy’s work is in more than 50 public collections in the US and around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, High Museum of Art, International Center of Photography, Victoria and Albert Museum, and La Bibliotheque Nationale. His photographs are featured in more than 25 books including, Harlem, A Century in Images, Studio Museum of Harlem, Skira/Rizzoli 2010, Freedom, Phaidon Press, 100 New York Photographers, Schiffer Press ‘09, Deborah Willis’ Posing Beauty, Norton Press, ‘09, Coal Country, Sierra Club Books, ’09, and Road To Freedom: Photographs of the Civil Rights Movement, 1956-1968. He was the featured artist (with 22 photos) in Appalachian Heritage, (Spring 2010). His subjects include inner-city New York City where he was a NYC teacher of at-risk adolescents for 35 years; coalfield Appalachia (spanning more than 40 years), civil rights and peace demonstrations (in the 1960s), Mongolia and other developing nations. He is completing a new book, Appalachia USA. Source: builderlevy.com
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