Werner Bischof: 1936-1954



Photograpy is not solely a document describing the world within a four corner frame. There is feeling and love in it. For this reason, we have to look carefully at Werner Bischof’s photographs. Winds blow within them, bringing you a smell of a town.”

-Ara Güler

Leica Gallery Istanbul was carried to Istanbul by the Doğuş Group, that has contributed significantly to the development of culture and arts in Turkey with its projects called “A Good Future from Doğuş”, “A Future with Doğuş”. The Doğuş Group now collaborates with  Leica Camera AG to continue to host internationally renowned photographers’ works. This time, Leica Gallery Istanbul at bomontiada will display Werner Bischof’s work, having received international recognition after the publication of his 1945 photo-interview on the destruction caused  by the World War II. The exhibition titled “Werner Bischof: 1936-1954”, will be open to guests’ visits between July 4th and August 30th, 2018 at Leica Gallery Istanbul.

I felt compelled to venture forth and explore the face of the World. Leading a satisfying life of plenty had blinded many of us to the immense hardships beyond our borders.”, which is how he summarized his journey as a photographer, Werner Bischof’s first solo exhibition in Turkey will meet art-lovers with the collaboration of Fotografevi and Werner Bischof Estate.

Werner Bischof’s photographs of post-World War II on the European and Asian cultures have been an inseparable and a very critical part of photojournalism since 1945. Bischof, being the first photographer who joined the Magnum Photography Agency along with the founding members in 1949 also documents the daily life of traditional cultures affected by industry and technology. Having witnessed the lives of the people in very different geographies such as  Europe, India, Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and South America, Bischof immortalizes these moments with his photographs.

On May 16th, 1954 – at the age of 38- Bischof lost his life life in a traffic accident in the Andes Mountains (Peru). Despite the short life he lead, Bischof is one of the photographers that left a great mark on the history of photography.

Werner Bischof:   Werner Bischof was born in Switzerland. He studied photography with Hans Finsler in his native Zurich at the School for Arts and Crafts, then opened a photography and advertising studio. In 1942, he became a freelancer for Du magazine, which published his first major photo essays in 1943. Bischof received international recognition after thepublication of his 1945 reportage on the devastation caused by the Second World War.In the years that followed, Bischof traveled in Italy and Greece for Swiss Relief, an organization dedicated to post-war reconstruction. In 1948, he photographed the Winter Olympics in St Moritz for LIFE magazine. After trips to Eastern Europe, Finland, Sweden and Denmark, he worked for Picture Post, The Observer, Illustrated, and Epoca. He was the first photographer to join Magnum with the founding members in 1949.  In the autumn of 1953, Bischof created a series of expansively composed color photographs of the USA. The following year he traveled throughout Mexico and Panama, and then on to a remote part of Peru, where he was engaged in making a film. Tragically, Bischof died in a road accident in the Andes on 16 May 1954, only nine days before Magnum founder Robert Capa lost his life.

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