Henri Cartier-Bresson

A Retrospective

Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) is one of the most original, accomplished, influential, and beloved figures in the history of photography. His inventive work of the early 1930s helped define the creative potential of modern photography, and his uncanny ability to capture life on the run made his work synonymous with “the decisive moment”—the title of his first major book.

Art Exhibition previously on at The Museum of Modern Art - MoMA in New York, United States.
From Sunday 11 April 2010 to Monday 21 June 2010

Published by MOMA on Wednesday 27 May 2009.
Contact the publisher.

After World War II (most of which he spent as a prisoner of war) and his first museum show (at MoMA in 1947), he joined Robert Capa and others in founding the Magnum photo agency, which enabled photojournalists to reach a broad audience through magazines such as Life while retaining control over their work. In the decade following the war, Cartier-Bresson produced major bodies of photographic reportage on India and Indonesia at the time of independence, China during the revolution, the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death, the United States in the postwar boom, and Europe as its old cultures confronted modern realities. For more than 25 years, he was the keenest observer of the global theater of human affairs—and one of the great portraitists of the 20th century.

MoMA’s retrospective, the first in the United States in three decades, surveys Cartier-Bresson’s entire career, with a presentation of about 300 photographs, mostly arranged thematically and supplemented with periodicals and books. The exhibition is organized by Peter Galassi, Chief Curator of The Department of Photography, The Museum of Modern Art, and is accompanied by a major publication. The exhibition travels to the Art Institute of Chicago and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).