Werner Bischof – Backstory
This new monograph captures the life and work of a Magnum great, Swiss photographer Werner Bischof (1916-64), and features his most iconic images, as well as insight into his life as a photojournalist and artist. Known for his postwar social documentary work, Bischof was inspired to become a journalist after the ruin of World War II left him unable to remain a passive observer. He traveled documenting both the suffering of the postwar world and the day-to-day life within traditional cultures affected by industry and technology. This expansive collection brings together these photographs, organized geographically—Europe, India, Japan and Korea, Hong Kong, Indochina, and North and South America. Accompanying the photographs are the contact sheets, letters, diaries and sketches that give an intimate glimpse into his creative process, revealing the highlights and struggles, and his vulnerability. The book traces Bischof’s far-reaching search for human connection through storytelling and is a testament to his relentless obsession to find harmony and beauty. In the words of Simon Maurer,
his photographs open up worlds. And true to this quote, this book provides a time capsule of the postwar world, opened up by the compelling and profound story of the life of this adventurous artist.