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THE ROBERT KOCH GALLERY is pleased to present the vintage black-and-white photography of the Swiss artist RENÉ GROEBLI. A contemporary and friend of fellow Swiss artist Robert Frank, Groebli's work shares Frank's gritty, aesthetic sensibility. Groebli's mid-century work with the image of the steam engine captured the power and the dynamism of the railway industry. Groundbreaking at the time, Groebli's work remains remarkable for its abstract richness and resplendent chiaroscuro.

This exhibition is a selection from the series that Groebli produced in the late 1940s and published as a portfolio titled "Magie der Schiene (Magic of the Rail)" in 1949. Considered a powerful symbol in the lexicons of both industrial society and the European avant-garde, the railroad steam engine has always held a special place in the imaginations of contemporary society. Whether as the modern purveyor of noise and visceral imagery, or as the romantic vehicle of travel and longing, the engine has become a visual nexus for the Twentieth century. Groebli's photography captured the magic of the object, and charted a passionate quest for subjective expression and visual poetry.

Groebli was born in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1927. In 1945, he studied under the noted photographer, Hans Finsler. He secured his place among European post-war artists with his 1949 portfolio "Magie der Schiene (Magic of the Rail)." In the early fifties, Groebli worked as a photographer for Life, Picture Post and other international magazines and participated in the first Subjektive Fototgraphie exhibition in Saarbrüken in1952. In 1955, he was included in the "Family of Man" exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. In subsequent years, the artist opened a studio for industrial and advertising photography, and continued his personal work through the present day. In 1999, the Zurich Kunsthaus Art Museum showed a retrospective of his photographs from the years 1946 to 1996. Groebli currently resides and works in Switzerland.

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