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René Burri: Impossible Reminiscences


The largely unpublished colour photographs by the great humanist photographer


Editions:

Price: USD$100.00

This edition is temporarily out of stock

As a world-renowned photojournalist and celebrated member of Magnum photo agency, René Burri’s photographs have had a huge influence on our visual understanding of the major political and cultural events of the second half of the twentieth century. From his iconic shot of Che Guevara smoking a cigar, to his beautifully composed photographs of the construction of Brasilia, his black-and-white photography is ingrained in the collective consciousness.

Previously less-known are his colour photographs that he has continually taken alongside his black-and-white work. This book introduces, for the first time, a retrospective of his personal selection of colour photographs.

With a selection – edited in close collaboration with Burri – of solely colour photographs, colour remains at the centre of this book. The photographs are arranged according to a colour selection rather than date, place or topic. It also includes childhood paintings by Burri that reveal an early understanding and appreciation of colour.

The photographs, sometimes seemingly abstract, sometimes documentary, capture fleeting moments in people’s everyday lives and the vitality or atmosphere of a certain place and time. These moments, frozen by Burri’s camera, are intimate portraits of the people and places Burri has come across throughout his extraordinary career that has taken him across the globe, from the 1950s to now.

From his stories and memories, the book reveals the world through Burri’s eyes, and demonstrates how he filters the world around him through his camera lens.

In a back section with photograph thumbnails and captions, Burri – with his signature charisma – talks openly about the inspirations, motivations and events around each photograph, giving readers a great insight into how one of the world’s best-loved photographers works.

SPECIFICATIONS:

Format: Hardback
Size: 315 x 280 mm (12 3/8 x 11 in)
Pages: 240 pp
Illustrations: 172 illustrations
ISBN: 9780714864969

René Burri was born in Zurich in 1933 and 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 Burri first used a Leica camera. Shortly after, he also developed an interest in film, and from 1953–55 he worked as a documentary filmmaker. Burri’s 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 continues to photograph and publish his work today.

"This treasure trove of colour photographs from one of the legends of black and white photography is startling in both its breadth and its mastery of the medium. If there is anything impossible about Impossible Reminiscences, it is that it has taken so long for this incredible body of work to get the recognition it deserves."—Alec Soth

"As if from nowhere Rene Burri compiles a full book of new colour photographs, most of which we have not seen before. It easily demonstrates that he is a master of colour as well as black and white, and one of the great figures of 20th century photography."—Martin Parr

"Born in Switzerland in 1933, René Burri first picked up a Leica during his military service. One of the remarkable things about Burri's career, was that from the mid-1950s he worked with both black and white and color. Often, Hans-Michael Koetzle writes in his essay that accompanies Burri's new book, Impossible Reminiscences, photographers are great at one or the other, or move on from black and white to color and seldom look back professionally. '[Burri] did the one without abandoning the other,' Koetzle writes. Impossible Reminiscences features more than 170 of Burri's lesser-known color images, drawn and edited by Burri from his archive over the course of eight years, and accompanied by his personal reminiscences."—Photo District News

"This treasure trove of colour photographs from one of the legends of black and white photography is startling in both its breadth and its mastery of the medium. If there is anything impossible about Impossible Reminiscences, it is that it has taken so long for this incredible body of work to get the recognition it deserves."—Alec Soth

"As if from nowhere Rene Burri compiles a full book of new colour photographs, most of which we have not seen before. It easily demonstrates that he is a master of colour as well as black and white, and one of the great figures of 20th century photography."—Martin Parr

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