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. 101
    Cartier-Bresson, The World of Henri Cartier-Bresson, pl. 176
    Bulfinch, Henri Cartier-Bresson: City and Landscapes, pl. 40
    Galassi, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century, pp. 58, 119
    Montier, Henri Cartier-Bresson and the Artless Art, pl. 197
    Thames & Hudson, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Image and The World, pl. 393
    Viking, Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Face of Asia, pp. 98-99

  • Catalogue Essay

    In the fall of 1948, on the first of many trips to the region, Henri Cartier-Bresson and his wife Ratna Mohini journeyed from India into Indonesia. On this first trip, they began in Burma [Myanmar], continued to Malaysia, and them moved on to Ratna's native Java. At that time, Cartier-Bresson became a witness to, and a photographer of, the historic independence talks between Indonesians and the Dutch. As he did in his travels across the globe, Cartier-Bresson also photographed captivating images of daily life throughout the region, such as the rice fields in Sumatra (lot 87) and the preparation for the Baris Dance (lot 88), a traditional was dance in Bali.

  • 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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Rice Fields in the Minangkabau Country, Sumatra, Indonesia

Gelatin silver print, printed later.
9 1/2 x 14 1/4 in. (24.1 x 36.2 cm)
Signed in ink in the margin.

$6,000 - 8,000 

Sold for $8,750

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Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Eye of the Century

New York Auction 12 December 2017