Exhibit: Photos by Henri Cartier-Bresson

Exhibit: Photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson
(c) 2010 Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos, courtesy Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson

Valencia, Spain, 1933
Consisting of close to 300 photographs, the Museum of Modern Art's exhibit, "Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century," covers almost every aspect of the great photographer's long career, beginning in the 1930s, when he abandoned an aspiration to paint and picked up a camera instead. During this time, he flirted with the ideals of the surrealist movement and it was his great insight that the Leica — a hand-held camera with a blink-of-an-eye shutter — was an ideal instrument with which to capture, in an instant, the kinds of imagery that the surrealists strove for, moments that went straight to the heart of the uncanny, much in the manner of this image, taken at a bullring in Spain.

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