I’ve mentioned Henri Cartier-Bresson several times in the pages of this blog. One of the high points of our trip to France was a couple of hours at Centre Pompidou’s retrospective exhibit of his work. The Press Kit publicity (a pdf) isn’t really a substitute for a visit to Paris, but it’s pretty good. See also a Sean O’Hagan piece from The Guardian and another by Francis Hodgson. And here’s a short video:

The experience of visiting this retrospective is pretty stirring: first, the line to get in could be an hour or more (but when we went it was only about 15 minutes), and once in you’re part of a slow-moving crocodile that moves chronologically (more or less) through Cartier-Bresson’s life as an artist. The prints are beautifully lit, and even with the crowds it’s possible to really see the images. Photography is allowed, so I was able to grab quick reminders of images that I found especially affecting or surprising (lots that I’d never seen before, as well as the most famous/iconic of his images). Here they are as a Flickr set of 20, the wee-waw perspective of which was quite intentional on my part.

Since our return I’ve been reimmersed in Atget’s work on Paris (1890s to his death in 1927) …see a George Eastman House Flickr set. Charles Marville and Brassaï are other Paris photographers of special interest.

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