Description

Werner Bischof set up his studio near the end of the 1930s in a suburb of Zurich. His work depicts everyday objects, and he experiments with different photographic and darkroom techniques to explore their qualities structures. Bischof devoted himself to his work as a studio photographer and portraitist, perfecting his photographic technique and training himself to be a master of seeing. Pictured here, a darkroom composition featuring a floral montage.

 

Only work done in depth, with total commitment, and fought for with the whole heart, can have any value

Werner Bischof
© Werner Bischof | Magnum Photos

Werner Bischof was born in Switzerland in 1916. 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 the years that followed, Bischof traveled in Italy and Greece for Swiss Relief, an organization dedicated to post-war reconstruction. He was the first photographer to join Magnum with the founding members in 1949.

Disliking the ‘superficiality and sensationalism’ of the magazine business, he devoted much of his working life to looking for order and tranquility in traditional culture. Despite this he worked on commission in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Indochina. In 1953, he traveled throughout Mexico and Panama, and then on to a remote part of Peru, where he was engaged in making a film. Tragically, Wernor Bischof died in a road accident in the Andes on 16 May 1954.

© Werner Bischof | Magnum Photos

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