Green Door | Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1908-2004 Paris Exhibition
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Henri Cartier-Bresson, 1908-2004 Paris Exhibition

Posted by Green Door in Review 04 May 2016

I kept walking the streets, high-strung, and eager to snap scenes of convincing reality, but mainly I wanted to capture the quintessence of the phenomenon in a single image. Photography, for me, is instant drawing, and the secret is to forget you are carrying a camera… – Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson and that infamous kiss of the sailor and girl! So iconic, much like the pearls of Chanel, and perhaps even the Eiffel Tower itself, even if it was taken in Times Square. The Parisian experience has really transformed since the mid-century. Although a peek into high society with Christian Dior herself, most of the images exhibited at Henri Cartier-Bresson: Paris are showing the life of the working classes, the life of the poor.

Henri Cartier-Bresson was a street photographer who captured the vigour of life and most enduring subjects such as Paris. The exhibition on show at the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, UEA, was a collection of 80 images spanning between 1929 and 1985.Henri Cartier-Bresson was born in Chanteloup, Seine-et-Marne in 1908, and was the son of a wealthy cotton manufacturer. At the age of fifteen he studied at André Lhote’s studio in Paris and immediately sought out and mingled with the artists of Paris, such as André Breton and Max Ernst. His engagement with photography, as his key medium, began around 1931.

To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organisation of forms which give that event its proper expression.

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