Photography lovers are in luck, as from 28 June we can visit, at the Mapfre Foundation in Madrid, the first Cartier-Bresson retrospective to be held in Spain, and the first in Europe since the brilliant artist's death in 2004. This exhibition can be visited until 7 September, and admission is free.
We can enjoy more than 500 photographs, drawings, paintings, films and documents. The camera of 'The Eye of the Century,' as the journalist Piuerre Assouline called him, was a key witness to the history of the 20th century. Undoubtedly one of the most important photographers in history.
The exhibition is divided into three key periods in Cartier-Bresson's work: the first runs from 1926 to 1935, with some oil paintings and his early photographic work; the second section tells of his experiences from his return from the United States in 1936 until his return to New York in 1946. In this period we can see photos of the horrors of the war, portraits of some of his friends: Sartre, Matisse, etc. and his first approaches to the world of cinema.
And finally, the third scenario begins in 1947, when he inaugurated his first major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. That same year he founded the Magnum agency, which became a world reference for quality photojournalism. From 1947 to 1970 (the dates covered in this third scenario), he travelled and photographed all over the world, working for the best international magazines.
Cartier-Bresson at the Wine Documentation Centre of the Foundation Vivanco
In the Wine Documentation Centre of the Foundation Vivanco there are two outstanding photographs of his work, precisely from this last period, from 1947 to 1970:
In the 1950s humanism was one of the most important currents in the photographic sphere. The distinguishing marks of humanist photography have always been present in Henri Cartier-Bresson's work, especially in this photograph, one of the most iconic works of his production and of humanist photography, published in numerous books and catalogues.
Photo reproduced in H. Cartier-Bresson's book Photoportraits. Gallimard, Paris, 1985.
In addition, to learn about the different phases of his career, in our Documentation Centre we have the book Henri Cartier-Bresson The Modern Century. This is the Spanish edition of the catalogue of the exhibition that the MoMA dedicated to the photographer in New York. The book is a complete and exhaustive account of the photographer's professional and artistic career, containing more than 300 photographs, many of which are unknown even to specialists.
Nuria del Río, Head of the Documentation Centre of the Foundation Vivanco