Biography of René Groebli
René Groebli is a Swiss post-war photographer and trained cameraman known for his ability to capture emotive moments through his intimate photographs and portraits. Throughout his career he worked as a reporter for Life, Picture Post and various other international magazines. René Groebli’s aim was not to document but rather inspire associations through his works and capture the atmosphere of his surroundings and emotions of his subjects.
Born in 1927 in Zurich, René Groebli studied under the celebrated photographer Hans Finsler before publishing his first portfolio “Magic of the Rail” in the late 1940s. In 1949 he had his first solo exhibition and by the early 1950s he was working as a photographer for Life and Picture Post. In 1954 he published his second book and photo-essay “The Eye of Love” which was created in collaboration with his wife and features portraits of her on their honeymoon trip to France. The book is a poetic exploration of his relationship with her in which he captures emotions, the ephemeral, intimacy and sensuousness.
Retrospectives of René Groebli’s work have been held at institutions across the world and he was included in the Museum of Modern Art’s iconic 1955 exhibition The Family of Man in New York. Recent shows of his work have been held at the Zurich Kunsthaus Art Museum and Galerie Bildhalle also in Zürich. In 2015 René Groebli won the Lifetime Award from the Swiss Photo Academy. He currently lives and works in Switzerland.