René Groebli. Masterpieces of Cities

1 Jun 2024 – 31 Aug 2024

Regular hours

14:00 – 18:00
14:00 – 18:00
14:00 – 18:00

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Galerie Buchkunst Berlin presents from 01. June 2024, the new exhibition "René Groebli – Masterpieces of the Cities: London, Paris" with selected works by the Swiss photography legend, which were created in 1948/1949 and 1979.


René Groebli, whose images have radically influenced and shaped the photographic and creative development of the medium, will be present at the opening.

With a proud 96 years of age, he is a living legend that will give you a very special insight into his work and life. Let yourself be inspired by his passion and wealth of experience. As one of the most important photographers of his generation, he will give you insights into the creation of his masterpieces and describe his personal experiences in the metropolises of London and Paris in the post-war years.

A few days before Christmas 1949, the young Swiss photographer arrived at the fog-shrouded, bombed Victoria Station in London. For two weeks he moved through the city with his Rolleiflex camera. He succeeds in creating an impressive symbiosis of precise compositional recording of the urban space and the application of subjective photographic elements.

Human silhouettes appear ghostly in the fog, the outlines of the just expanded Battersea Power Station, a landmark of the British Empire, is emerging in the sky covered by soot. At the sight of London Bridge, the lines from T.S. Eliot's "Wasteland": "...unreal city, under the brown fog of a winter morning...". Paris faces the darkness of London in bright light, and the photographs are also less subjective than intensive and closely observed street photographs.

In this way, Groebli creates independent forms of the narrative of these metropolises, oscillating between modernism and poetry, captures the aura of the post-war period and adds a new contribution, a completely unique vision, to the Canon of the photographs dedicated to these two cities. The images take us back on a journey into a bygone era, in which cities such as London and Paris became pulsating centres of life after the horrors of war.

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René Groebli


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