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Look Sharp

Posted By Alex Belth On April 19, 2010 @ 11:04 am In Bronx Banter | Comments Disabled

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I haven’t seen the big Henri-Cartier Bresson show at the Modern [2]yet but I did catch this review in The New Yorker [3]:

Cartier-Bresson has the weakness of his strength: an Apollonian elevation that subjugates life to an order of things already known, if never so well seen. He said that the essence of his art was “the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event, as well as the precise organization of forms which give that event its proper expression.” Too often, the “significance” feels platitudinous, even as its expression dazzles. Robert Frank, whose book “The Americans” (1958) treated subjects akin to many in the older photographer’s work, put it harshly but justly: “He traveled all over the goddamned world, and you never felt that he was moved by something that was happening other than the beauty of it, or just the composition.” The problem of Cartier-Bresson’s art is the conjunction of aesthetic classicism and journalistic protocol: timeless truth and breaking news. He rendered a world that, set forth at MOMA by the museum’s chief curator of photography, Peter Galassi, richly satisfies the eye and the mind, while numbing the heart.

…The hallmark of Cartier-Bresson’s genius is less in what he photographed than in where he placed himself to photograph it, incorporating peculiarly eloquent backgrounds and surroundings.

I’m looking forward to seeing this one…


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URLs in this post:

[1] Image: http://bronxbanter.arneson.name/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/henri.jpg

[2] Henri-Cartier Bresson show at the Modern : http://www.moma.org/visit/calendar/exhibitions/968

[3] this review in The New Yorker: http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/artworld/2010/04/19/100419craw_artworld_schjeldahl?currentPage=1

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