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.
I planned this trip to see Henri Cartier-Bresson last year. I picked a Thursday hoping it wouldn’t be crowded. Same for a day near the end of it’s run at SFMOMA.
I arrived at the Museum around noon and saw no crowds at the entrance. No lines at the ticket booth. No crowds inside the atrium, or anywhere else, until I actually got inside the Cartier-Bresson display rooms.
Crowds in every room. Where did they come from? Maybe like me from all over the West. Since this is the only showing on Pacific coast and the last location will be the High Museum of Art, Atlanta February 19th to May 29th.
There was so much to see that it took me 2 hours to make my first walk through the entire show. Left to have a late lunch and returned to spend another hour and half visiting with Mr Cartier-Bresson again. For both visits I started at the beginning of his career and walked all the way to the end.
This is one of the few retrospectives that you REALLY need to start at the beginning and walk through time with the photographer.
If only money wasn’t a problem I would spend even more time visiting with Henri.
Original contents copyright 2011 by John S. Krill and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
All these photographers were on the 3rd floor of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: Paul Strand, Alfred Stieglitz, Harry Callahan, Peter Stockpole, Bret Weston, Edward Weston, Ansel Adams, Milton Rogouin, William Gedney, Thomas Barrow, Mark Ruwedel, Joel Sternfeld, Walker Evans, Berence Abbott, Wright Morris, William Henry Jackson, George N. Barnard, William Christenberry, Henry Wessel, Frank Gohlke, Joe Deal, Lew Baltz, John Schott, Nicholas Nixon, Bernard & Hilda Becher, Stephen Shore, Robert Adams, Charles Pratt, Lee Friedlander, and several more.
Went up to San Francisco to see the shows at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. If you’re a photographer or a fan of photography then this is one great museum. I went there to see the show: New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape.
A restaging of the seminal 1975 exhibition with 150 photographs from 10 influential artists that signaled a radically new approach to landscape photography.
But that wasn’t then end of it. They also had another show that complemented the Topographics event with: Picturing Modernity: The Photography Collection.
Pictures from SFMOMA’s world-renowned photography collection exploring the concept of place in American photography, in conjuction with New Topographics: Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape.
The next show I plan on seeing here is: Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century. October 30-January 30.
The first large-scale U.S. retrospective in more then three decades of one of the most accomplished and original figures in the history of photography.
To complament the Bresson show: Exposed Voyeurism, Surveillance, and the Camera Since 1870. October 30-January 30.
More then two hundred pictures forming a timely inquiry into how artists, journalists, governments, and everyday people alike have probed the camera’s powerful voyeuristic capacity.
Neither the New Topographics or the Henry Cartier-Bresson shows have a southern California showing. Pity.