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Author Topic: Yeah Cartier-Bresson couldn't crop for........a member's comment  (Read 54650 times)
Isaac
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« Reply #180 on: February 21, 2013, 11:42:26 AM »
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Much as H C-B had his own somewhat classical ideas about composition and form, his images were still the result of a different kind of process with an urgency and immediacy that was different from his predecessors.

You seem to be thinking of what came later -- the later photojournalism and the photos from '29-'33 Spain Italy Mexico France which were for sale at Julien Levy's New York gallery in 1933.

(Some of those prints are in the Art Institute of Chicago collection labelled "Julien Levy Collection, Gift of Jean and Julien Levy".)

M. Cartier-Bresson describes what came before -- when he confined his challenge to the static world, when he was dedicating himself to Art with a capital 'A'.
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Isaac
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« Reply #181 on: February 21, 2013, 02:55:24 PM »
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That's hardly claiming oneself artist; it's one thing to say that you might think of the genre as artistic in nature (especially, as you indicate, when young) but putting oneself into the rôle of artist is another, which I don't read that quotation as declaring.

I wonder how many whom you do regard as artists would be disqualified by the criteria you apply to M. Cartier-Bresson :-)


Quote
Interviewer: Why did you choose photography?

Cartier-Bresson: Photography enables me to grasp the world directly through the medium of a particular and significant detail. There is no such thing as an art of generalities. It's a way of understanding and a way of living more intensely. ... I have a great time and I work for the love of the subject not for the sake of the magazine that ordered the pictures. ... once I start working, I work for the subject only. I don't refuse assignments, if they are not gimmicky. What Renaissance artist would have thought of despising a commission?"

"In photography, as in the other arts, talent only gives us the right to work even harder."

"Ours is a very small profession. While literally speaking, there is no competition, the market is very limited. Yet the contrived stories which magazines so often ask for become handicaps to photography as an art."

1961 Henri Cartier-Bresson: on the art of photography an interview by Yvonne Baby, translated by Elizabeth Carmichael.


Given how this discussion began, I'll include this quotation from the same interview:

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"My greatest joy is the surprise of facing a beautiful organization of forms, the intuitive recognition of a spontaneous -- not contrived -- composition; naturally with a subject that moves. I think it's only when handled this way that a subject takes on its full significance.

I never crop a photograph. If it needs to be cropped I know it's bad and that nothing could possibly improve it. The only improvement would have been to have taken another picture, at the right place and at the right time."
« Last Edit: February 21, 2013, 02:57:08 PM by Isaac » Logged
LKaven
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« Reply #182 on: February 21, 2013, 05:28:50 PM »
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You seem to be thinking of what came later -- the later photojournalism and the photos from '29-'33 Spain Italy Mexico France which were for sale at Julien Levy's New York gallery in 1933.

I think you're right here.  Thanks for the added qualification.
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RSL
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« Reply #183 on: February 21, 2013, 06:27:10 PM »
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Hi Isaac, I'm out of this thread as far as the primary topic is concerned, but I have a couple questions for you:

(1) It's pretty obvious that your research on HCB and your knowledge of the subject is pretty extensive. But why are you so concerned about whether or not he saw himself as an "artist?" Without question he was one of the most effective artists of the twentieth century, but why does it matter to you whether or not he identified himself that way?

(2) Are you as interested in his pictures as you are in whether or not he saw himself as an artist? The pictures themselves never seemed to come up in the discussion.
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Isaac
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« Reply #184 on: February 22, 2013, 02:46:26 PM »
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It's pretty obvious that your research on HCB and your knowledge of the subject is pretty extensive. But why are you so concerned about whether or not he saw himself as an "artist?"

I'm not; the question simply provides an excuse to look purposefully at the photographs, and listen purposefully to what M. Cartier-Bresson had to say for himself.


(I think my research on HCB and knowledge of the subject is very preliminary, and strictly limited by lack of access to French language material and my lack of fluency in French. From what I've seen the French language material professionally translated into English is far more coherent than M. Cartier-Bresson's English language statements.)
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 03:13:01 PM by Isaac » Logged
RSL
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« Reply #185 on: February 23, 2013, 12:32:54 PM »
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(I think my research on HCB and knowledge of the subject is very preliminary, and strictly limited by lack of access to French language material and my lack of fluency in French. From what I've seen the French language material professionally translated into English is far more coherent than M. Cartier-Bresson's English language statements.)

I'd be quick to agree on that point, Isaac. But though I'm very interested in what he said, I'm a lot more interested in his photographs. Of course I can say the same thing about a bunch of other people, with Walker Evans probably at the top of the list and Elliott Erwitt a close second.
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