“Henri Cartier-Bresson’s approach exemplifies this interest in the autonomy of modernist photographs. Cartier-Bresson took many of his photographs as a professional photojournalist, reporting on conditions and events around the world in multi-image picture-stories. Yet he regularly republished single images from these stories in anthologies with little or no captioning, elevating them in the process from a context of journalism to art.”
Lucy Soutter, “Why Art Photography?”
“In photography, the smallest thing can be a great subject. The little, human detail can become a Leitmotiv.”
Henri Matisse at his home, the villa “Le Rêve”, Vence, France, 1944
Photos by Henri Cartier-Bresson
“I believe that, through the act of living, the discovery of oneself is made concurrently with the discovery of the world around us, which can mold us, but which can also be affected by us. A balance must be established between these two worlds—the one inside us and the one outside us.”
Henri Cartier-Bresson, “The Mind’s Eye: Writings on Photography and Photographers”
“The only thing about photography which interests me, he says, is the aim, the taking aim,
Like a marksman.
Do you know the Zen Buddhist treatise on archery? Georges Braque gave it to me in ’43.
I’m afraid not.
It’s a state of being, a question of openness, of forgetting yourself.
You don’t aim blind?
No, there’s the geometry. Changw your position by a millimeter and the geometry changes.
What you call geometry is aesthetics?
Not at all. It’s like what mathematicians and physicists call elegance, when they’re discussing a theory. If an approach is elegant it may be getting near to what’s true.
…What counts in a photo is its plenitude and its simplicity…”
John Berger, from “Henri Cartier-Bresson”, Aperture, No 138, 1995
Photo by Henri Cartier-Bresson
“Your first 10.000 photographs are your worst.”