Roger Humbert (1929-2022) was a Swiss pioneer of concrete photography, known for his extensive photographic oeuvre since the 1950s. Humbert primarily worked in the darkroom using light sources, form elements such as stencils and punch cards, and the chemical process of development until 1974. His focus was not on depicting representational motifs but on exploring the form and structure of the photograph itself. This approach helped gain international recognition for this type of artistic photography, which emphasized the mysterious quality of light interacting with sensitive gelatin. Humbert's experimental photography is closely connected to art movements like vorticism, the Bauhaus tradition, and the existential philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre. His camera-less photograms, luminograms, and clichés verres do not depict specific subjects but reveal a new reality created at the moment of exposure on photographic paper.
Humbert's work has been featured in significant exhibitions, including NONREPRESENTATIONAL PHOTOGRAPHY in Basel in 1960 and the first exhibition titled CONCRETE PHOTOGRAPHY in Bern in 1967. Alongside photographers René Mächler, Jean Frédéric Schnyder, and Rolf Schroeter, he showcased minimalist light compositions governed by their own internal laws. As one of the founders and main representatives of the concrete photography movement in Switzerland, Humbert's contributions have been highly regarded.
In 2005, Humbert embraced digital photography as a continuation of his knowledge and artistic exploration. This marked the completion of a circle in his over 60-year career, from camera-less photography to concrete digital photography. Throughout his work, the latent image has always been a central focus. The key works of his new group of works are united in exhibitions that showcase his artistic evolution. Since 2002, Roger Humbert's oeuvre has been preserved at the Fotostiftung Schweiz (FSS) in Winterthur. His works are represented in numerous international museums, including the Peter C. Ruppert Collection in Würzburg and the Musée d'art et d'histoire in Geneva.
Roger Humbert lived and worked in Basel, Switzerland.