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 World of Henri Cartier-Bresson, pl. 114
    Cartier-Bresson, Henri Cartier-Bresson: À Propos de Paris, pl. 104
    Chéroux, Henri Cartier-Bresson: Here and Now, pl. 289
    Galassi, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century, p. 54
    Thames & Hudson, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Image and The World, pl. 212
    Thames & Hudson, Henri Cartier-Bresson: Photographer, pl. 10

  • Catalogue Essay

    Many of Cartier-Bresson’s iconic portraits were taken in France, including that of friend and fellow artist, Alberto Giacometti (lots 13 & 15). Giacometti and Cartier-Bresson were first introduced in 1938 at a café in Place Blanche in Montparnasse, a well-known haunt of the Surrealists who deeply inspired Cartier-Bresson’s pre-war photography. In 1961, after a decades long friendship, Cartier-Bresson turned his lens on Giacometti for the first time, and photographed the sculptor while working on portraits of leading cultural figures for Queen magazine. Martine Franck, Cartier-Bresson’s widow, commented of their friendship, “What Henri admired about Giacometti was his simplicity and rigour as an artist, the way he was always putting himself into question… He could talk about anything with Giacometti—including photography. Henri told me he was the most intelligent man he’d ever met.”

  • 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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Alberto Giacometti, rue d'Alésia, Paris

Gelatin silver print, printed later.
14 x 9 1/2 in. (35.6 x 24.1 cm)
Signed in ink and copyright credit blindstamp in the margin.

$8,000 - 12,000 

Sold for $17,500

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Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Eye of the Century

New York Auction 12 December 2017