René Burri Photographs

I had the great privilege to meet and talk with photographer René Burri, while he made playful watercolor drawings and signed copies of his 450-page retrospective of black-and-white photography, at the recent Paris Photo 2004.

You can listen to Burri himself speak briefly on his beginnings as a photographer, his views on color photography and digital, and tell anecdotes about one of his photographs, all in streaming audio recordings.

Looking through this book of remarkable photographs is at once inspiring and humbling — not one of these many, many history-defining photos could be made today. And it makes me wonder who will be recording our history going forward with the same kind of clever eye and full heart.

— Jim Casper

Rene Burri Photographs 
by Rene Burri

Hardcover, 448 pages
Phaidon Press, 2004

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Background from the publisher:

"A member of the prestigious Magnum photo agency, René Burri is a photographer whose curiosity and humanity as a photographer have afforded him almost unrestricted access to the major events and personalities of the last fifty years. In this way, René Burri Photographs is a fascinating personal account of the major artists, politicians and personalities that Burri has made a part of his life. First achieving international recognition with the seminal photography book on post-WWII Germany Die Deutschen (The Germans) in 1962, René Burri has since become one of the most important figures in the history of photography, admired and respected by his peers for his sympathetic eye and his ability to capture larger-than-life personalities on film.

"This book thoroughly covers Burri’s important contribution to reportage photography. In 21 thematically organized chapters, we accompany Burri across Europe to the Middle East, Vietnam, Brazil, Cuba and beyond: we visit Picasso, Le Corbusier, Yves Klein and Giacometti in their studios; we witness political figures such as Che Guevara in repose, and Fidel Castro at the helm. The book begins with an introduction that describes the history, politics and artistic influences that have coloured Burri’s work."