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Tampa Museum of Art fall exhibition celebrates the works of legendary photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson
Brussels, Belgium. 1932. © Henri Cartier-Bresson / Fondation HCB / Magnum Photos.

TAMPA, FL.- Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908–2004) was one of the most influential photographers in the 20th century. His images of world events and the people (famous and otherwise) who made these events happen have shaped our understanding of the last century. The Tampa Museum of Art is the only U.S. venue for this international retrospective exhibition. The Man, the Image & the World. Henri Cartier-Bresson, A Retrospective, is on view October 6, 2012 through January 13, 2013

“One of the goals for the new Tampa Museum of Art is to bring the best of the world’s modern and contemporary art to the Tampa Bay region, and this exhibition allows us to achieve that mission. The Museum has been actively collecting and exhibiting photography since its earliest days in the late 1970s, and this spectacular exhibition underscores this tradition for the institution. We are dedicating the majority of our galleries to this exhibition, giving this master his due,” remarked museum executive director Todd D. Smith.

From his first works of the 1930s that stand out for their composition, the theatrical nature of the images and the selection of details, Cartier-Bresson succeeded in recording important moments with his camera. His 1952 book, Images a la Sauvette (The Decisive Moment), introduced his ideas about creating images that combined story, action and emotion. Entire stories are often condensed into a single image, the so-called “decisive moment.” The photographer once said that photography was “putting one's head, one's heart and one's eye on the same axis."

Travel was a key element in Cartier-Bresson’s life and his work. Following trips to Mexico, the artist was sent on large-scale global reporting assignments to the United States, the Soviet Union, China, India, Bali and Indonesia. His work provided early and probing views behind the Iron Curtain and into the highly hidden cultures in Southeast Asia and the Indian Sub-continent.

His work is not only a benchmark for photojournalism in the 20th century but also for the ethics of photography. Along with friends such as Robert Capa, Cartier-Bresson founded Magnum Pictures in 1947. Operating in Paris and New York City, this organization of photojournalists successfully changed the manner in which photojournalists were treated and recognized by printed sources.

The Man, the Image & the World. Henri Cartier-Bresson, A Retrospective includes over 330 photographs, films and important publications. This exhibition is held in conjunction with the Foundation Henri Cartier-Bresson and Magnum Photos/Paris. Cartier-Bresson chose the works for this exhibition before his death in 2004.The exhibition has recently been on view in Zurich, Brisbane, and Seoul.

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