• 906_web
  • Exhibition 2017

    René Groebli, NUDES

  • Place


  • Guided tour

    Thursday and Sunday at 14.30 p.m.

    Book signing:
    Thursday and Sunday at 15.30 p.m.


René Groebli used experimental photography from an early age to capture moods and movements. He was ahead of his time and didn't care about trends. His works, especially the elaborate nudes, are more reminiscent of paintings. After Paris and New York, the NUDES exhibition is being shown in Switzerland for the first time. The photographs were taken over a period of more than fifty years and show the photographer's independent, clearly recognizable signature. The coarse-grained images convey a nostalgic, playful but timeless elegance.

Who better to express this than René Groebli.

“The feminine has always fascinated me. The beauty of the forms, the charisma, the sensuality ...
I have often tried to express my admiration for feminine grace in pictures and hope that the viewer of my photos can share the joy of these visually enchanting moments with me. "

René Groebli

Although he actually wanted to go to film, he began an apprenticeship as a photographer with Theo Vonow in Zurich in 1943.

1944–45 six months in Hans Finsler's photography class at the Zurich School of Applied Arts, first experimental photographs to capture moods and movement. From 1946 apprenticeship as a documentary film cameraman at Central-Film and Gloria Film in Zurich (diploma 1948), but continues to work intensively on photography. Attracts a great deal of attention with his first work, the photo essay Magic of the Rails (1949).

1949–51 press and advertising photographer, in between 1 year as picture editor for Züri-Woche. 1951 marriage to Rita Dürmüller, who supported him artistically throughout his life. 1951–53 photo reporter for the Black Star agency, London; travels in the Middle East and Africa and publishes in Picture Post, Illustrated, Time-Life, Die Woche, among others. From 1953 concentration on color photography, opening of his own studio after first orders from the pharmaceutical industry. Experiments with the dye transfer process and is honored in 1957 by the US Color Annual as "Master of Color". Founds Turnus Film (cinema and TV spots) together with HP Roth in 1959, wins the Palme d'Or (1963) for VW commercials in Cannes.

Until 1980 mainly color photography for international advertising campaigns, annual reports, anniversary books and the like for companies in Europe and the USA. Creates audio and multivision shows, for which he receives worldwide recognition. In 1965 and 1971 published two groundbreaking books on the creative and communicative possibilities of modern color photography.

At the same time, he continued his freelance artistic work and in 1954 published the highly acclaimed photo essay The Eye of Love. In 1953 he was accepted as the youngest member of the College of Swiss Photographers (with Jakob Tuggener and Gotthard Schuh, among others). Rediscovered the creative potential of black and white photography in 1977, photographed in New York, Ireland and the south of France.

Gives up advertising photography in 1981, sells his studio and moves into a traditional stone house (Borie) in southern France. Since 1990 he has been restoring and reworking previous black and white negatives, making new barite prints and using some historical techniques. In 1999 he exchanged his borie with an old farmhouse in the Vosges, in whose attic he devoted himself intensively to nude photography in 2001/2002. To date, countless solo and group exhibitions worldwide, Photo15 Lifetime Award in Zurich.