This recent addition to my collection of photobooks has instantly become one of my favorites. To mark the centenary of the birth of Swiss photographer and Magnum member Werner Bischof (1916-1954), this publication assembles not only his most iconic photographic works, but interweaves them with contact sheets, sketches, letters and diary entries that provide a fascinating glimpse into the artist’s creative process, his struggles, and his vulnerability. Unable to remain a passive observer at the end of World War II, he relentlessly traveled and captured images of deep suffering and poverty, yet always showed the inner strength and resilience of the people. The humanism and empathy found in Bischof’s photographs is second to none, and one cannot help but wonder how much more he might have been able to create, had he not been killed in a car accident at age 38 while traveling in the Peruvian Andes. I highly recommend this book.
Publisher: Aperture; First Edition (May 9, 2016)