Henri Cartier-Bresson - Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Eye of the Century New York Tuesday, December 12, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist

  • Literature

    Cartier-Bresson, The Decisive Moment, pl. 25
    Chéroux, Henri Cartier-Bresson: Here and Now, pl. 100
    Fuentes, Henri Cartier-Bresson: Mexican Notebooks 1934-1964, p. 43
    Galassi, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Early Work, p. 124
    Steidl, Henri Cartier-Bresson Scrapbook, pl. 127

  • Catalogue Essay

    Henri Cartier-Bresson traveled to Mexico early in his career, having signed up as a photographer for the 1935 expedition to map a Pan-American Highway. While the project was unrealized, Cartier-Bresson chose to stay in Mexico City, befriending and living with the great writer Langston Hughes in the La Candelaria neighborhood where many of his most iconic photographs in Mexico were taken. Mexico was fertile ground for many artists at this time, including Manuel Álvarez Bravo, who Cartier-Bresson shared an exhibition with at the Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City in 1935.

  • Artist Biography

    Henri Cartier-Bresson

    French • 1908 - 2004

    Candidly capturing fleeting moments of beauty among the seemingly ordinary happenings of daily life, Henri Cartier-Bresson's work is intuitive and observational. Initially influenced by the Surrealists' "aimless walks of discovery," he began shooting on his Leica while traveling through Europe in 1932, revealing the hidden drama and idiosyncrasy in the everyday and mundane. The hand-held Leica allowed him ease of movement while attracting minimal notice as he wandered in foreign lands, taking images that matched his bohemian spontaneity with his painterly sense of composition.

    Cartier-Bresson did not plan or arrange his photographs. His practice was to release the shutter at the moment his instincts told him the scene before him was in perfect balance. This he later famously titled "the decisive moment" — a concept that would influence photographers throughout the twentieth century. 

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Newspaper vendors, Mexico City, Mexico

Gelatin silver print, printed later.
11 7/8 x 17 3/4 in. (30.2 x 45.1 cm)
Signed in ink and copyright credit blindstamp in the margin.

$12,000 - 18,000 

Sold for $32,500

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Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Eye of the Century

New York Auction 12 December 2017