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 Rudy Burckhardt  (1914 - 1999)

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Lived/Active: New York/Maine / Switzerland      Known for: photography, landscape painting

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Ad Code: 4
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from Auction House Records.
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© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Known primarily as a photographer and film maker, Rudy Burckhardt turned to landscape painting in the later part of his life. From the mid 1930s, he was a prominent part of the New York art world, having earned his reputation primarily for black and white photographs that captured the visual rhythms of New York City street life and architecture.

He was born in Basel, Switzerland and in 1935 moved to New York where he made informal travelogues of that city and Haiti. He also did a series of photographs of his neighbor, Willem de Kooning, and helped him out by buying several of his paintings with inheritance money. He served in World War II and then supported himself with photo journalism for art magazines.

In the 1940s, he did a series of still-life photos that anticipated Post-Minimalist scatter art and began to paint landscapes while continuing to do documentary films including montages of Hollywood life and modern dance vignettes.

In the later part of his life, he focused increasingly on painting, especially close-up views of the woods near his summer home in Searsmont, Maine, where he lived with his artist-wife, Yvonne Jacquette, and their children. In August, 1999, he committed suicide in Maine.

In 1987, a retrospective of his work was held at the Museum of Modern Art. "Talking Pictures" is a book, published in 1994, about Burckhardt's work authored by Zoland Books.

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