Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004), the French photographer who redefined both photojournalism and his craft as an art form, will be celebrated in a major exhibition at the Queensland Art Gallery
from August 27 to November 27, 2011.
Queensland Art Gallery Director Tony Ellwood said "Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Man, The Image & The World‟ would feature work from throughout the renowned photographer‟s extraordinary career, which spanned over 70 years. "Cartier-Bresson‟s photography is exceptional for capturing the decisive moment, an illustration of action, emotion and an entire story through the single frame of the camera lens,‟ Mr Ellwood said.
"Visitors will have an opportunity to see more than 250 of Cartier-Bresson‟s photographs, including his defining records of modern history and intimate portraits of daily life from around the world. "Cartier-Bresson travelled extensively to document some of the most significant historical events of the twentieth century, including the Cultural Revolution in China, the impact of Gandhi's assassination in India and life behind the Iron Curtain in the Soviet Union during the 1950s. "The exhibition includes images from his time in Europe, Mexico, America, China, Japan, Bali, India and the USSR, where he was one of the first western photo-reporters to visit during the Cold War. "His celebrated assignments for Life magazine not only reshaped photojournalism but gave a rare insight into world events,‟ Mr Ellwood said.
"Cartier-Bresson, who was trained as a painter, saw photography not just as a tool of documentation, but an art form in its own right." A pioneer in representing the rights of photographers through his co-founding of the Magnum Photos agency, Cartier-Bresson set benchmarks not just for photojournalism, but for the aesthetics and ethics of photography as a medium.
"He also photographed some of the most influential artists, writers and thinkers of the 20th Century. Included in the exhibition are portraits of Henri Matisse, Alberto Giacometti, Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Jean Renoir, Georges Braque, Arthur Miller and Jean-Paul Sartre. "Cartier-Bresson described photography as aligning the head, the eye and the heart along the same line of sight. This exhibition puts into perspective his remarkable career behind the camera,‟ he said. "Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Man, The Image & The World‟ is presented by the Queensland Art Gallery in conjunction with Magnum Photos, Paris and the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation. The photographs were selected by Cartier-Bresson and long term friend and publisher Robert Delpire before Cartier-Bresson's death in 2004.