Past Exhibition

René Burri, l’Explosion du Regard

A new retrospective of Burri's work draws upon unpublished contact sheets, study prints, book dummies, exhibition projects, notebooks and more

Rene Burri

Rene Burri René Burri, Juf, Suisse, 1967 © René Burri/Magnum Photos. Fondation René Burri courtesy Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne © Rene Burri | Magnum Photos

René Burri joined Magnum Photos in 1955, becoming a full member in 1959. Over the course of his career he travelled to Europe, the Middle East, North, Central and South America, Japan and China, recording with lucidity and acuity many of the momentous events of the second half of the 20th century. He also photographed a retinue of fascinating charactrers: Picasso, Le Corbusier, Niemeyer, Barragan, Giacometti, Tinguely, and in 1963 he produced his iconic portrait of “Che au cigare” (Che with Cigar).

In January, 2020, a new retrospective exhibition of Burri’s work – curated by Marc Donnadieu and Mélanie Bétrisey – will open at the Musée de l’Elysée. René Burri, l’Explosion du Regard builds upon the bonds between the photographer and the museum. In 1987, Burri’s project “Les Ruines du futur” (The Ruins of the Future) was presented at the museum, and in 2004, the museum hosted its first retrospective of his work. In 2013, Burri decided to set up a foundation in his name at the Musée de l’Elysée.

This new exhibition is the culmination of diligent research and studies carried out by the Musée de l’Elysée teams since 2013 drawing upon the René Burri collection, family archives and the Magnum Photos archives in both Paris and New York.

The exhibition aims to offer a new perspective on Burri’s myriad creative activities throughout his life. It also reveals a more personal side to one of the most influential photojournalists of our time, making use of a great many often previously unpublished documents including contact sheets, study prints, films, book dummies, notebooks, collages, watercolours, and drawings.