An exhibition on Henri Cartier Bresson at Ancona's Mole Vanvitelliana

Ancona's Mole Vanvitelliana is hosting the exhibition 'Henri Cartier Bresson. Photographer'. March 8 through June 17, 2018.

On view at the Mole Vanvitelliana in Ancona, from March 8 to June 17, 2018, is the exhibition Henri Cartier Bresson. Photographer: 140 shots by Henri Cartier-Bresson (Chanteloup-en-Brie, 1908 - L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, 2004) are brought together in the Marche capital in an exhibition that continues the Mole’s program on the great masters of photography, after the first one dedicated to Steve McCurry. The itinerary aims to reconstruct Henri Cartier-Bresson’s career, from his beginnings, marked by uncertainty (he was undecided whether to pursue a career as a painter, a filmmaker or a photographer). In the early years he admitted that he did not understand anything about photography, and he let others do the work of developing the shots. He was not even interested in making improvements to the pictures he took, since for him photography was a simple fact of hic et nunc, to be judged as it was made in a precise instant.

Technique itself, for Cartier-Bresson, represented but a means, which was not to override the photographic experience. “For me,” the artist asserted, “the camera is like a notepad, a tool to support intuition and spontaneity, the master of the moment who, in visual terms, asks and decides at the same time. To make sense of the world, one must feel involved in what one frames in the viewfinder. Such an attitude requires concentration, mental discipline, sensitivity and a sense of geometry. Only through a minimal use of means can one arrive at simplicity of expression.” Henri Cartier-Bresson continued not to want to subject his photos to any filter: he either accepted them or discarded them. “To photograph is to hold one’s breath when all our faculties of perception converge before the fleeing reality. In that instant, capturing the image proves to be a great physical and intellectual pleasure.”

The purpose of the review is precisely to investigate Cartier-Bresson’s method, his relationships with the subjects of his photographs, and the places and situations in which they were taken. “To talk about Henri Cartier-Bresson,” explains exhibition curator Denis Curti, “it is good to keep his biography in view. His experience in photography totally merges with his private life. Two episodes say a lot about the character: in 1946 he learns that MOMA in New York intends to dedicate a ”posthumous“ exhibition to him, believing him to have died in the war, and when he gets in touch with the curators, to clarify the situation, with immense irony he devotes more than a year to the preparation of the exhibition, which opened in 1947. Also in the same year he founded,along with Robert Capa, George Rodger, David Seymour, and William Vandivert the famous Magnum Photos agency. In short, Cartier-Bresson is a photographer destined to remain immortal, capable of rewriting the vocabulary of modern photography and influencing entire generations of photographers to come.”

The exhibition traces its origins to the selection of photographs made by publisher Robert Delpire, who died last year, and is promoted by the City of Ancona and Civita in collaboration with the Henri-Cartier Bresson Foundation, created in 2003 by his wife Martine Franck and daughter Mélanie: the institute’s purpose is to collect the photographer’s work and create an exhibition space open to other artists as well. The installation is curated by Denis Curti and Andrea Holzerr on behalf of Magnum Photos. Henri Cartier Bresson. Photographer opens Monday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (box office closes at 6 p.m.). Closed Mondays, but the exhibition is open at Easter and Easter Monday. Rates: full 9 euros, reduced 8 euros (for groups of at least 12 people, conventioned, non-accredited journalists, ticket holders of the Robert Doisneau: le temps retrouvé exhibition in Senigallia), special reduced 3 euros for students under 18, free for children under 6, teachers accompanying schoolchildren, disabled and accompanying persons, accredited journalists, licensed tour guides.

Pictured: Henri Cartier-Bresson, Prostitutes, calle Cuauhtemoctzin, Mexico City, Mexico, 1934

An exhibition on Henri Cartier Bresson at Ancona's Mole Vanvitelliana
An exhibition on Henri Cartier Bresson at Ancona's Mole Vanvitelliana

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