Sidewalk XIV, New York, 1947 © Estate of Rudy Burckhardt, Gallery Tibor de Nagy, New York
Rudy Burckhardt –
In the Jungle of the Big City
25 October 2014
to 15 February 2015
The Swiss photographer Rudy Burckhardt (1914-1999) settled in New York in 1935. Overwhelmed by the size of that city, its architectural diversity and the tense hustle and bustle on the streets, he began to capture his impressions in photographs and on film. A shy and reserved person, he initially devoted his attention to details on facades and to graphic signs of all kinds. Later he observed passers-by hurrying along their way. Finally his interest focussed on the underused areas in Queens or the anonymous roof landscapes in Manhattan. Burckhardt captured these images while strolling about the city and was thus way ahead of his time: they are simple, direct, formally stringent and lyrically dense and so constitute a radically modern pictorial idiom. For a long time his oeuvre was known only to a small group of insiders. On the occasion of the 100th anniversary of his birth, it is now being recognised as an important contribution to international photography.