Henri Cartier-Bresson. La Mirada del Siglo XX
February 26, 2015
by Henri Cartier-Bresson
Through more than five hundred photographs, drawings, paintings, films and documents, this new retrospective invites the public to journey through over seventy years of work that established the photographer as a key figure in modernity.
The exhibition reveals his work far beyond the “decisive moment” that long sufficed to sum up his genius for composition and skill in capturing movement. Ten years after his death, now that the thousands of prints he left to posterity have been brought together by the foundation that bears his name, the exhibition proposes a genuine reinterpretation of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s work. The man known as «the eye of the century» was one of the great witnesses of our history.
The retrospective illustrates the depth and variety of his work and his wide-ranging career as a photographer – one that covered Surrealism, the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War, decolonisation and the Cold War.
The exhibition features the photographer’s iconic pictures, but also puts the spotlight on lesser-known images. It reassesses a number of little-known photo reports, brings to light collections of paintings and drawings, and focuses on Cartier-Bresson’s forays into the world of film.
Both chronological and thematic, the circuit is structured around three main viewpoints: the period between 1926 and 1935, marked by his contact with the Surrealists, his early work as a photographer and his travels all over the world; a second section devoted to Cartier-Bresson’s political commitment when he returned from the US in 1936 until he set off for New York again in 1946, and a third sequence opening with the creation of Magnum Photos in 1947 and finishing with the early Seventies, when Cartier-Bresson stopped doing photo reports.
A catalogue edited by Clément Chéroux, which is both a reference work and an attractive book, has been published by the Centre Pompidou to go with the retrospective.
The exhibition is organized by the Centre Pompidou, Paris with the support of the Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris.