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Perspectives
René Groebli
Magie der Schiene, 1949
Vintage gelatin silver print, 40 x 50 cm

René Groebli »

Perspectives

Exhibition: – 31 May 2022

Wed 30 Mar

Galerie Esther Woerdehoff

36 rue Falguière
75015 Paris

+33(0)9-51 51 24 50


www.ewgalerie.com

Wed-Sat 12-19

Perspectives
René Groebli
Landdienst, #612, 1946
Vintage gelatin silver print, 30 x 40 cm

René Groebli
"Perspectives"


Exhibition: 24 February – 23 April 2022

René Groebli, born in 1927 in Zurich, belongs to a generation of Swiss photographers who, after the Second World War, left their mark on the history of 20th century photography. As a student of Hans Finsler in the famous photography class at the Zurich School of Art, which was also attended by Robert Franck, Werner Bischof and René Burri, he freed himself from the research of the new objectivity of the 1920s.

The young photographer made his mark by creating images rather than taking them, and by placing as much emphasis on emotion as on information. A photographer who dissociated himself from professional classifications, René Groebli left photojournalism at the age of 26 and distinguished himself by a personal style of writing in perpetual movement.

The photographer made his mark in 1949 with the series "La Magie du Rail", a black and white railway adventure. Placed in the locomotive, he records with masterly poetry the mechanical odyssey of the steam engine; what he creates at the age of 24 is a cinematographic narrative that imposes the rhythm of another era, the movement takes time, the landscape scrolls to the rhythm of the sleepers and the stone tunnels that mark out the course of the train.

In these images, the whistling and the noise, we feel the steam, the smoke, the heat, the whole soul of train travel. This accurate and poetic view was exalted by René Groebli in 1953 in "L'Œil de l'Amour". In his photographs he conveys the sensual and amorous feelings of the honeymoon in Paris with his wife Rita. It is probably one of the most beautiful declarations of love in the history of photography, created almost twenty years before Nobuyoshi Araki's "Sentimental Journey". This beautiful series can also be seen in the exhibition "Love Songs" at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie from 30 March 2022.

From the 1960s onwards, René Groebli has been a pioneer in the use of colour and dye-transfer. Whether in commissioned works for industry or in his own work, his experiments with colour image development are impressive.

René Groebli is a pioneer in creativity and technicality. He has an international reputation in the creation of new advertising photography. Until the 1980s, he continued to develop this unique and radically modern look.

The "Perspectives" exhibition looks back at the masterpieces of the artist's major series. It presents a collection of more than fifty platinum-palladium and silver prints from the period.

Perspectives
René Groebli
Landdienst, #1428, 1946
Vintage gelatin silver print, 30 x 40 cm

René Groebli was born in 1927 in Zurich. He took his first pictures with a Rolleiflex in 1942 and began to learn photography the following year. In 1945, he studied at the School of Arts and Crafts in Zurich with Hans Finsler then worked as a film operator and began experimenting movement photography. In 1949, he published his first book Magie der Schiene (Rail Magic), with a radical aesthetic with creative use of blur and grain in the image. In 1954, Das Auge der Liebe (The Eye of Love), includes photographs of his wife taken during their honeymoon and offers a poetic vision of erotic photography.

In the 1950s, he worked as a photo-reporter for the London agency Black Star and published his pictures in major magazines of that time. He then openned an advertising and industrial photography studio where he worked until his retirement. Recognized as a master of color, he practiced all genres and followed the stylistic and technical evolution of photography over five decades in an approach where cutting edge pictures follow a classic aesthetic.

In 1981, the photographer sold his fund and settled in Provence, where he rediscovered the possibilities of black and white in his personal work. In 1999 the Zurich Kunsthaus held a major retrospective exhibition, since then he continues to exhibit and publish his work and keep exploring his fabulous estate.

Perspectives
René Groebli
Tänzer (Dancers), #D16, 1962
pigment print, 130 x 80 cm
edition of 7
Perspectives
René Groebli
Knie (knees), #616, 1948
Vintage gelatin silver print, 30 x 40 cm
Perspectives
René Groebli
Industrie, #D20, 1961