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Rene Burri ( 1933-2014)

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The world renowned Magnum photographer René Burri (born in 1933), whose legendary portrait of Che Guevara has been a photographic icon for many years, caught a number of important artists of the 20th century through his lens. The great photographer also realised numerous individual portraits and reportages on his friend Jean Tinguely and his work between 1967 and 1991. Camera in hand, Burri observes the artist at work in his atelier “Le Cheval Blanc” at Soisy-sur-École and during construction of the monumental sculpture “Le Cyclop”, literally peering over his shoulder. In the photographic series showing Tinguely installing his works at the World Exhibition in Montreal, in Basel or in Venice, the photographer manages to capture the artist’s spontaneity and essence – his fascination with movement – in almost cinematographic shoots. He was recognized as one of the true great photographers of the 20th century and in his birthland  Switzerland numerous exhibitions were organized with the photographs of Burri. Among them , arguably the best exhibitions at the Tinguely museum in Basel, where the series on Tinguely were exhibited.

The exhibition poster for the Tinguely exhibition is available at www.ftn-books.com

burri tinguely a

 

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Robert Capa (1913-1954)… a war photographer

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Only 41 years of age , but with an iconic oeuvre he left us.. Some examples of photographs we all have encountered for more than once in your lives. Foremost Capa was a war photographer and left us some iconic photographs. but when you study the Magmum site   (https://pro.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3=CMS3&VF=MAGO31_10_VForm&ERID=24KL535353 ) you discover that beside his war photographs there are some tremendous other photographs to be found within the Magnum archives, but that his most important subject was WAR in all its aspects and cruelties. A true journalist photographer who showed us the cruelties of war . No polished photographs but a raw image of the reality.

 

What i stumbled upon when searching for material on Capa is that he had an affair with the famous Ingrid bergman. In 1945 after the fall of Nazi Germany, Capa was staying at the Hotel Ritz on Place Vendôme where he met Hollywood actress, Ingrid Bergman. Bergman was traveling around Europe to see the devastation caused by the war, and entertaining the troops. When they met, Bergman was still married to Petter Lindström who she had a baby with. Capa asked Bergman for dinner, and soon after they started to have an affair. In 1946, Bergman asked Capa to come to Hollywood with her, and he did. While Capa was in Hollywood, he visited her at a studio where she was filming, Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Notorious’. Capa had shot some still photos for the film which he was given no credit for when they were published Hitchcock later made a film with James Stewart and Grace Kelly in 1954, called ‘Rear Window’, loosely based on Capa and Bergman. Bergman wanted to marry Capa and also tried to convince him to quit his job to work in Hollywood. Capa knew that he wouldn’t fit in, and told Bergman that he can’t have a wife and kids because of his duties of work. Their affair ended when Capa left Hollywood for an assignment in Turkey.

There is a great Capa and Magnum publication available at www.ftn-books.com

 

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Henri Cartier Bresson (1908-2004)

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If ever there is a photographer who is recognized as one of the greatest ever, it is Henri Cartier Bresson. Being a Magnum photographer you can see and discover many known and unknown photographs by Henri Cartier Bresson on this site:

http://pro.magnumphotos.com/C.aspx?VP3=CMS3&VF=MAGO31_10_VForm&ERID=24KL53ZMYN

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What it also shows is the power of black and white photography. It is in many cases far more authentic and beautiful than color photography and Heni Cartier Bresson proves that he is one of the most original and talented . Beautiful compositions and catching the very best important moments to make the perfect photograph.

www.ftn-books.com has some nice books on Henri Cartier Bresson , including the excellent Sandberg designed catalogue for his Stedelijk Museum exhibition in 1963.

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MAGNUM photography

There are many publications of Magnum associated photographers to be found at www.ftn-books.com, but there is one very special one which i would like to emphasize in this blog. There is the publication from 1963. One of the last to be designed by Willem Sandberg and a catalogue for the first of the many MAGNUM exhibitions to be held in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. The SM has a long history with Magnum photography, but this was one of the first to be held in a major museum and because of its design and simplicity it has become a highly desirable and collectable catalogue. The Stedelijk Museum continued to present the Magnum photographers throughout the decades to come , resulting in the 2008 exhibition to commemorate the 60 years of the Magnum agency, but the 1963 is the first and most important one within the series of publications on Magnum and the Stedelijk Museum. Next year the agency will celebrate its 70 years of existence, perhaps a new exhibition in the Stedelijk………..?

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Josef Koudelka….not only a Magnum photographer.

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Czech nationality and now 78 years of age, spanning a photography career of over 55 years, multiple exhibitions all over the world, Koudelka has become one of the most important photographers in modern photograph. Street scenes and the Romani ( Gypsies from Romany) are subjects he has become famous for. Not only a Magnum photographer but also a photographer who found his subjects among people he cared about. They were not only his subjects. In the photographs you could see that he could come very close by and had become more of  a friend than the photographer who followed his subject.

I thought about Koudelka because i found a very interesting article about Koudelka in which is explained what the 10 most important lessons were Koudelka has taught a fellow photographer.

http://erickimphotography.com/blog/2013/03/28/10-lessons-josef-koudelka-has-taught-me-about-street-photography/

this is what the author Eric Kim says about Koudelka and i totally agree with him.

“To me, Josef Koudelka is one of the most brilliant photographers out there and a true master of black and white. Not only does his work carry a strong sense of composition, form, and geometry but they also carry an emotional impact. His photos are raw, gritty, and show both the hope and melancholy of life”

If you are interested in modern photography you must look at these breathtaking and intriguing photographs and certainly you will agree with me that this is a true master of black and white photography.

wilfried

book below is available at www.ftn-books.com

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