The decisive moment: Henri Cartier-Bresson

Highlights from the first retrospective of the legendary photographer’s work since his death in 2004
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Henri Cartier-Bresson, Hyères, France (1932)

1 / 10 Henri Cartier-Bresson, Hyères, France (1932)

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Santa Clara, Mexico (1934)

2 / 10 Henri Cartier-Bresson, Santa Clara, Mexico (1934)

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Juvisy, France (1938, printed 1947)

3 / 10 Henri Cartier-Bresson, Juvisy, France (1938, printed 1947)

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie (1945), Paris, France

4 / 10 Henri Cartier-Bresson, Irène and Frédéric Joliot-Curie (1945), Paris, France

Henri Cartier-Bresson, New York City (1946)

5 / 10 Henri Cartier-Bresson, New York City (1946)

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Shanghai, China (1948, printed 1971)

6 / 10 Henri Cartier-Bresson, Shanghai, China (1948, printed 1971)

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sumatra, Indonesia (1950)

7 / 10 Henri Cartier-Bresson, Sumatra, Indonesia (1950)

Henri Cartier-Bresson, San Fermines (1952), Pamplona, Spain

8 / 10 Henri Cartier-Bresson, San Fermines (1952), Pamplona, Spain

Henri Cartier-Bresson, World's Fair (1958), Brussels, Belgium

9 / 10 Henri Cartier-Bresson, World's Fair (1958), Brussels, Belgium

Henri Cartier-Bresson, Greenfield Indiana (1960)

10 / 10 Henri Cartier-Bresson, Greenfield Indiana (1960)


Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century (on show at SFMOMA until 30 January 2011) is the first retrospective of the legendary photographer’s work since his death in 2004. The exhibition is arranged in a thematic arc through his entire career, starting with his electric early images - many of which, like the cyclist zooming by a zigzagging staircase on the curving, cobbled street of Hyères in France in 1932, take pleasure in life’s patterns, shadows, and geometry - to his later position as 'the keenest observer of the global theatre of human affairs - and one of the great portraitists of the twentieth century'. 

The exhibition will next be on show at the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, from 19 February until 29 May 2011.


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