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. 2
    Chéroux, Henri Cartier-Bresson: Here and Now, pl. 85
    Chéroux, Aperture Masters of Photography: Henri Cartier-Bresson, p. 25
    Clair, Henri Cartier-Bresson: Europeans, p. 66
    Galassi, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Early Work, p. 131
    Galassi, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century, p. 97
    Gombrich, Tête à Tête: Portraits by Henri Cartier-Bresson, pl. 37
    B. Newhall and Kirstein, The Photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson, p. 18
    Steidl, Henri Cartier-Bresson Scrapbook, pl. 75
    Thames & Hudson, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Image and The World, pl. 118
    Thames & Hudson, An Inner Silence: The Portraits of Henri Cartier-Bresson, p. 126
    Thames & Hudson, Henri Cartier-Bresson: Photographer, pl. 150

  • Catalogue Essay

    In 1933, just three years prior to the onset of the Spanish Civil War, Henri Cartier-Bresson traveled to Spain with his newly purchased Leica camera and produced images that have proven to be powerful and enduring records of the time. Experimenting with formal components from Cubism and Surrealism, Cartier-Bresson delicately intertwined artistic expression with humanist insights to imbue his pictures of the apparent conflict in Spain with empathy and vitality. Cartier-Bresson would continue to travel to Spain in the years that followed, and in 1937 he returned to direct the documentary Victorie de la vie (Return to Life), which was created to support the Republican medical relief program. Cartier-Bresson filmed two additional documentaries during the Spanish Civil War: With the Abraham Lincoln Brigade in Spain, 1937, and L’espagne Vivra, 1938.

  • 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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Córdoba, Spain

Gelatin silver print, printed later.
13 3/4 x 9 1/4 in. (34.9 x 23.5 cm)
Signed in ink and copyright credit blindstamp in the margin.

$4,000 - 6,000 

Sold for $18,750

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Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Eye of the Century

New York Auction 12 December 2017