After seven years, the exhibition “Dear Memories” is the second solo show of the famous Magnum photographer at the Bildhalle Zurich and can be understood as a comprehensive retrospective. The presentation begins with his early works from the 1960s, when he traveled the U.S. and the world, sets a focus with his iconic Ali images and extends to the strong works from New York in the 1970s and 1980s.
Born in Munich in 1936, Hoepker ranks among the foremost German photojournalists of the late 20th century. As such, he not only experienced but also played a defining role in the second golden age of photojournalism, after the 1920s and ’30s. He has made photographic history not only for his contributions to magazines such as Stern, Geo, Kristall and the Münchner Illustrierte, but also as art director, writer and filmmaker. Many of his black-and-white photo essays rank among the greatest of photojournalism.
As a reporter for Stern, he had the opportunity to portray the boxer Muhammad Ali in 1964, continuing to do so at regular intervals for 10 years. In 1966 Hoepker and his then wife, Stern journalist Eva Windmöller, joined the boxing legend in London and Chicago. In 1970, Hoepker was on hand with his camera when Ali, who had been out of the ring for some time, was preparing himself for the “fight of the century” against Joe Frazier. He met up with him again years later when he was already debilitated by Parkinson’s. Many of these pictures are known worldwide and have become icons of photography. They have been widely exhibited in museums and represented in many collections.
In 1976, Hoepker moved to New York as a correspondent for Stern and, until 1981, he was director of the American edition of GEO. From 1987 to 1989, he worked as the Art Director of Stern in Hamburg. In 1989, he became the first German national to be accepted by Magnum as a full member, going on to become president of the agency from 2003 to 2006.
Thomas Hoepker is now married to filmmaker Christine Kruchen; he lives and works in New York.