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Nothing to Do with Me

Gaby Wood: Henri Cartier-Bresson, 5 June 2014

Henri Cartier-Bresson 
Pompidou Centre, until 8 June 2015Show More
‘Voir est un tout’: Entretiens et conversations 1951-98 
by Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Centre Pompidou, 176 pp., €19.90, January 2014, 978 2 84426 639 2
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Henri Cartier-BressonHere and Now 
edited by Clément Chéroux.
Thames and Hudson, 400 pp., £45, March 2014, 978 0 500 54430 3
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... At​ the Pompidou Centre in Paris, a two-hour wait will get you ‘priority access’ to the Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibition. It’s available only to friends of the museum, members of the press, and those who bought tickets in advance and naively thought they’d walk straight in. As the American woman behind me remarked, it’s the kind of queue that would be generated in the US by the opening weekend of Terminator 4 ...

Taking pictures

Peter Campbell, 3 July 1980

In Radin’s Studio 
by Albert Elsen.
Phaidon, 192 pp., £10.95, May 1980, 9780714819761
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Henri Cartier-BressonPhotographer 
Thames and Hudson, 155 pp., £25, April 1980, 0 500 54062 4Show More
Isle of Man: A Book about the Manx 
by Christopher Killip.
Arts Council of Great Britain, 69 pp., £9.95, March 1980, 0 7287 0187 1
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... the construction, of form. Of the photographers who have turned this kind of eye onto the world, Henri Cartier-Bresson is one of the two or three greatest. The way his pictures are taken and presented avoids the suppression of anything which falls within the viewfinder when he releases the shutter. The photographs are never cropped, the prints he has ...

Just How It was

Anne Hollander: The work of Henri Cartier-Bresson, 7 May 1998

Tête à Tête: Portraits by Henri Cartier-Bresson 
edited by E.H. Gombrich.
Thames and Hudson, 144 pp., £32, February 1998, 9780500542187
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Henri Cartier-BressonEuropeans 
edited by Jean Clair.
Thames and Hudson, 231 pp., £29.95, January 1998, 0 500 28052 5
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... Like Titian’s, Cartier-Bresson’s work began as the mirror of one epoch and is ending as that of another, simply because he invented the best mirror and kept polishing it Cartier-Bresson’s influence has been immense since his beginnings, not just on photography but on cinema and photojournalism, so that he has been largely responsible for 20th-century notions of what a superior realistic camera image should look like ...

Someone Else

Peter Campbell, 17 April 1986

In the American West 
by Richard Avedon.
Thames and Hudson, 172 pp., £40, October 1985, 0 500 54110 8
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by Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Thames and Hudson, 283 pp., £35, October 1985, 0 500 54109 4
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... account of the photographer’s craft I know. They are relevant to work very unlike his own – to Cartier-Bresson’s collection Photoportraits, for example. The arena Avedon works in is execution yard and interrogation cell as well as stage and studio: ‘I photograph my subject against a sheet of white paper about nine feet wide by seven feet long ... I ...

At the Barbican

Liz Jobey: Strange and Familiar , 2 June 2016

... out of Sander’s taxonomy, People of the 20th Century, were it not for their local insignia. Henri Cartier-Bresson, for the purposes of this exhibition, is cast as a royal reporter. In 1937, his first year working for the French communist daily Ce Soir, he covered the coronation of George VI, turning his back on the royals to capture the event ...

At the Photographers’ Gallery

Brian Dillon: Chris Killip, 1 December 2022

... the moment their subject acquired a camera and took a first shot. We’re asked to conjure little Henri Cartier-Bresson, or Jacques Henri Lartigue, on holiday with his parents and a Box Brownie, everyone eager for images. Chris Killip, who was born in 1946 and died in 2020, had never owned a camera or taken a picture ...

At the Royal Academy

Peter Campbell: Matisse’s revelations, 19 May 2005

... at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York from 23 June until 25 September), many of them by Henri Cartier-Bresson, are especially beguiling. The painters’ lives were more troubled and difficult than the photographs suggest but, in the cases of Bonnard and Matisse in particular, one feels delightfully intimate with the painters and their ...

But I wanted a crocodile

Thomas Meaney: Castro in Harlem, 4 February 2021

Ten Days in Harlem: Fidel Castro and the Making of the 1960s 
by Simon Hall.
Faber, 276 pp., £17.99, September 2020, 978 0 571 35306 4
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... Allen Ginsberg, Amiri Baraka, I.F. Stone – flocked to the Theresa’s ballroom, with Henri Cartier-Bresson on hand to capture it all. Other Third World leaders in New York that week could only complain of stolen limelight. Kwame Nkrumah, who had worked in a soap factory in Harlem in his twenties, found himself relegated to second fiddle in ...

Focus, Shoot, Conceal

Jeremy Harding: Apartheid in Pictures, 27 July 2023

House of Bondage 
by Ernest Cole.
Aperture, 230 pp., £50, December 2022, 978 1 59711 533 9
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... paper set up in the 1950s when its predecessor the Guardian was banned. He had become a devotee of Henri Cartier-Bresson. Poring over editions of The Decisive Moment (1952) and The People of Moscow (1955), he began to conceive a book of his own that would ‘show the world what the white South African had done to the Black’. But freelancing for New Age ...

Seventy Years in a Colourful Trade

Andrew O’Hagan: The Soho Alphabet, 16 July 2020

Tales from the Colony Room: Soho’s Lost Bohemia 
by Darren Coffield.
Unbound, 364 pp., £25, April 2020, 978 1 78352 816 5
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... poison: they insist on the poison without any overwhelming fear of the costs. David Bowie and Henri Cartier-Bresson, not contra-cabaret overall, were separately and summarily dismissed from the Colony for requesting tea.In former times, before we took the pledge, Soho had 24-hour allure. On my way home one night, I left a famous screenwriter behind ...

Can a rabbit talk to a cat?

Julian Barnes: Lartigue takes a leap, 7 April 2022

Lartigue: The Boy and the Belle Époque 
by Louise Baring.
Thames and Hudson, 192 pp., £28, April 2020, 978 0 500 02130 9
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Jacques Henri Lartigue: The Invention of Happiness 
by Denis Curti, Marion Perceval and Charles-Antoine Revol.
Marsilio, 208 pp., £40, July 2020, 978 88 297 0527 6
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... his art. Asked how he found the ‘decisive moment’, the catchphrase always associated with Cartier-Bresson (though first used in the 17th century by the Cardinal de Retz), he replied: ‘You do it before you have time to think.’ There was no technical secret at all. ‘I used to be a tennis player, so I have a very fast eye.’ When congratulated on ...

Beyond Borders

Adam Shatz: Adolfo Kaminsky’s Forgeries, 16 February 2023

... an elegance of composition and an affection for the Parisian demimonde reminiscent of Brassaï and Cartier-Bresson. He flirted with the idea of moving to New York, after falling in love with Sara Elizabeth Penn, a glamorous Black expatriate he met at a party. In 1957, Penn returned to New York, and waited for him to arrive.He never did. Late that year, he ...

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