René Burri UTOPIA
Architecture and Architects
8. 9. — 28. 10. 2004
The Supreme Burgrave´s House of Prague Castle
Preparation of the exhibition
René Burri was
born in Zurich (Switzerland) in 1933.
The general public is familiar with his famous portraits of Che Guevara and Pablo Picasso, or his iconic pictures “São Paulo” (1960) and “Ministry of Health, Rio de Janeiro” (1960), which can be found in every second poster shop. Beyond that, his body of work covers almost all the major events of the last five decades, from the Suez conflict in the fifties to the crisis in Cyprus. Burri photographed in Korea and Vietnam; he covered Cuba and Latin America. Again and again, he went to the Middle East, travelled in China and Japan, and visited South Africa. Although a witness to politics and history, Burri never thought in terms of simple press photography. Right from the start, with the well-trained eye of an artist, he was able to find striking metaphors for the condition of our world. This quality, together with a deep sense of humanity, gives his photography a high cultural and artistic value and makes it part of what can be called “world photography”.
Distinguished writer and exhibition curator Hans-Michael Koetzle has organised the New York show especially for the Hermès Gallery, in close collaboration with René Burri. The exhibition brings together, for the first time, Burri’s most important architectural photographs – including pictures of famous buildings, as well as portraits of architects – and gives examples of Burri’s interest in architecture in social and cultural contexts.