15th Sep 2018
Born in 1908, Henri Cartier-Bresson was one of the most important photographers of the twentieth century. Best known for using a lightweight Leica camera to develop the concept of the ‘decisive moment,’ Cartier-Bresson transformed photojournalism into an artform that balanced powerful subject matter with perfectly timed, elegant composition.
Our exhibition is centred around a private collection of prints, curated according to the particular tastes and interests of the collector. As a result, the exhibition contained a fascinating balance of images, some of which are well-known and some of which are virtually unseen. In particular, the collection boasts several unusual sets of photographs including: Paris (particularly during the 1968 student protests); the USSR during the early 1970s; and celebrity portraiture an often overlooked element of Cartier-Bresson’s oeuvre. The exhibition also featured portraits of sitters including Francis Bacon, Albert Camus, Coco Chanel, Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, Jean-Paul Sartre, Igor Stravinsky and other important cultural figures.
Henri Cartier-Bresson: A Decisive Collection was presented in association with Leica, one of the world’s most famous camera makers. Leica will be displaying a number of vintage cameras in the gallery, similar to ones used by Cartier-Bresson. The collaboration with Beetles+Huxley also involved a variety of talks and events throughout the duration of the exhibition in celebration of the photographer’s famous association with their brand.