February 17, 2011

High Museum Presents Cartier-Bresson on a Grand Scale

Have you ever studied 295 photographs by one photographer that you didn't personally shoot and download on to your computer? Imagine them all printed and framed. What an undertaking! I was lucky to view the Henri Cartier Bresson exhibit at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta prior to its opening Saturday, Feb. 19.
This super show of Bresson's work is on view until May 29, 2011. The collection was created at MOMA by Peter Galassi. The High's new photography curator, Brett Abbott organized the show on blue walls on the second floor of the museum in Atlanta. Abbott officially begins his job on April 1, 2011. He shines as an energetic new staff member with lots of ideas percolating.

Bresson is one of my personal favorite photographers. I teach about his art as part of my journalism camp and photography classes because he coined the expression "decisive moment." This moment as portrayed in a sunset, expression or event is what we are looking for to tell the story of our art. It is particularly exemplified in the image in the upper left. Here Bresson presses the shutter just before the man lands in the water. After the landing this image would be much different. His work is about taking the shot at just the moment when people are aligned in the scene.

The exhibit at the High museum is vast also in that it includes scenes from all over the United States and world. Bresson was born in France to a wealthy family and pursued photography interests at an early age. He developed a style  of capturing the ordinary and achieved fame as a street photographer.  Study these images at the High Museum to develop your own style of photography.

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