CHANTELOUP-EN-BRIE, FRANCE.- A hundred years ago, on August 22, 1908, was born one of the geniuses of photography, Henri Cartier-Bresson. He showed us an unusual ability to observe, so much so that to know his work is like knowing part of the graphic history of the 20th century. His photographs have become a study object for future photographers of the globalized society.
When we make reference to Henri Cartier-Bresson, we pause in his idea of decisive moment, that defined the exact moment when the photograph is taken. In other words, when the head, eye and heart are aligned, as he once said, to get the image. He explained that to click a milisecond before or after the photograph would not be the same. This thesis gave the title to one of his books Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment (1952).
With his Leica, he photographed China, India, Mexico even the Second World War, where he was thought to have died, and founded together with other geniuses of photography, the first agency of photography, the select club of Magnum.
In 1968, he began to turn away from photography and return to his passion for drawing and painting. Cartier-Bresson withdrew as a principal of Magnum in 1966 to concentrate on portraiture and landscapes.
Cartier-Bresson retired from photography in the early 1970s and by 1975 no longer took pictures other than an occasional private portrait; he said he kept his camera in a safe at his house and rarely took it out. He returned to drawing and painting. He held his first exhibition of drawings at the Carlton Gallery in New York in 1975. The Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation was created by Cartier-Bresson, his wife and daughter in 2003, to preserve and share his legacy.