René Burri – Explosions of Sight
The entire Burri: this book presents for the first time the full range of René Burri's creative force and interests
1st edition, 2020
240 pages, 106 color and 148 b/w illustrations
21 x 27 cm
In cooperation with Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne
A member of the famous artist-owned photo agency Magnum Photos, Swiss photographer René Burri (1933–2014) found himself wherever history was happening during the late twentieth century. His countless travels took him across Europe and the Americas to the Middle East to Japan and China to document the twentieth century’s major events. His extraordinary sense for people and their personalities resulted in remarkably candid portraits of celebrities, such as architects Le Corbusier, Oscar Niemeyer, and Luis Barragán; artists Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso, and Jean Tinguely; and Che Guevara, whose 1963 portrait with a cigar is one of the world’s most famous and widely reproduced photographic portraits.
Published to coincide with a major exhibition at Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne, René Burri—Explosions of Sight draws from Burri’s vast archive. With the museum, Burri staged both his first exhibition and his first major retrospective and maintained a close relationship throughout his life, entrusting it also with the conservation of his estate. The book brings together for the first time Burri’s entire body of work, both photographic and nonphotographic, including previously unpublished archival documents, as well as book designs, exhibition projects, travel diaries, collages, watercolors, and objects Burri collected. In doing so, it offers a new and uniquely intimate view of one of the world’s greatest photographers.
Mélanie Bétrisey is assistant curator and in charge of the René Burri Collection at Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne.
Marc Donnadieu is chief curator in the exhibitions department at Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne.
"The book, which goes far beyond the goal of a regular exhibition catalog, not only sketches Burri's path as a photographer. His artistic work as a graphic artist and cinéaste is also discussed. It should not be missing from any bibliothèque." Burkhard Maus, Blog Menschmaus
"The work contains a wealth of new and previously unpublished details. An excellent resource for anyone interested in this creative man." Horst Tress, Köllefornia
"The show and the catalog make the people behind the photo artist accessible. They make it possible to learn more about the man wearing the Borsalino hat." Nadia Bendinelli, swiss-architects