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Dancers In The Zurich Tresterclub (1947), Courtesy Of René Groebli

Solo Exhibition / Artist Talk / Book Signing

Early Work

René Groebli

Opening, Artist Talk & Book Signing: Saturday, October 24, 2015, 18h
October 25 – December 4, 2015
Opening hours
Mon-Fri 12-20h, Sat 12-18h
Facebook Event


Today René Groebli is well known as one of the most important Swiss photographers. His work from 1945 – 1955 is key in seeing and understanding the development of European photography, through his Modernist techniques and his own timeless vision.

René Groebli was born on the 9th October 1927 in Zurich. From 1946 he studied photography under Hans Finsler at the art school in Zurich, and between 1946-48 he became the first documentary film cameraman to train at Central and Gloria Film in Zurich, and finished with a diploma. As a photo reporter he carried out assignments for the magazine ‘Die Woche,’ and later for the London agency ‘Black Star’ in Africa and the Middle East.

His first two book publications were ‘Magie der Schiene’ (Rail Magic, 1949) a poetic and Modernist essay, and the image series ‘Das Auge der Liebe‘ (The Eye of Love, 1954). Both books became important classics in the history of the photography book.

Otto Steinert showed photographs from Groebli in his ‘Subjektive Fotografie’ exhibitions in 1951 and 1954. In the exhibition ‘The Family of Man’ that Edward Steichen organised for the Museum of Modern Art in New York, René Groebli was represented together with the Swiss photographers Werner Bischof, Robert Frank and Gotthard Schuh. In 1954 the Council of Swiss photographers accepted him together with Robert Frank as members.

After a short period he quit photo journalism and in the mid 1950s founded his own studio for advertising and industrial photography. Groebli specialised in colour photography and experimented with the Dye Transfer process. In 1957, the american magazine Color Annual honoured him as Master of Color. After the early 1980s he turned again to his artistic essays in black and white. Towards the end of the 20th century and during the first decade of the 21st century he reprocessed his image archive and digitalised the most important photographs of his oeuvre that grew over 60 years.

Since ‘Magie der Schiene’ in 1949 René Groebli has released 10 photo books, and has been exhibited in numerous exhibitions worldwide.

With ‘Early Work‘, the Zurich based publisher ‘Sturm & Drang’ presents for the first time a comprehensive overview of the images that René Groebli produced between 1945 and 1955, including many of his well-known images, and many published for the first time.

Event Details

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