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Henri Cartier-Bresson: Photographer

August 1–October 4, 1981

Henri Cartier-Bresson, one of the most widely respected photographers of the 20th century, has chosen over 100 of his most significant images for this traveling exhibition, which was organized by the International Center of Photography, New York. Cartier-Bresson has been in the midst of human drama all his life--with the French Resistance during World War II, with Gandhi at the time of his death in 1948, in China during the Communist Revolution in 1949, in Russia after the restoration of international relations in 1954. Yet, significantly, he has eliminated chronology in this display of his work, presenting images in relation to each other rather than to history. Cartier-Bresson is an artist who seeks to freeze what he has called "the decisive moment." The rich variety of photographs reveals his amazing capacity to capture those moments: the image of a man leaping over a puddle in the rain, mirrored not only by his reflection in the water but by the leaping ballerina on the poster behind him; the Japanese woman mourning the death of a Kabuki actor, their gestures and attitudes reflected in the strokes of calligraphy on a banner. Each photograph is reproduced in the exhibition catalogue.


International Center for Photography, New York
Art Institute of Chicago
Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond
Museo del Palacio de Bellas Artes, Mexico City
Seattle Art Museum
High Museum of Art, Atlanta
Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Dallas Museum of Art, Dallas, Texas
Philadelphia Museum of Art
Indianapolis Museum of Art
Cleveland Museum of Art
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri

Main Building


American Express Foundation


Michael E. Hoffman
Martha Chahroudi

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