Tuesday, August 17, 2010

'Geometric Composition'

I'm an old unrepentant formalist and was provoked to do this post when I heard French father of modern photojournalism Henri Cartier-Besson (1908-2004) ...

... declare ...

... 'la joie c'est la géométrie ... tout est en place' ('the joy of geometry - when everything is right).

And was unable to prevent myself posting out a few of his city and landscapes ...

Hyères, 1932

Brie, France, 1968

Rue de Cléry, Paris, 1952

... his portraits ...

Colette with her companion Pauline, Paris 1952

Truman Capote, New Orleans 1947

François Mauriac, Paris, 1952

Albert Camus, Paris, 1944

Christian Dior, Paris 1953

Simone de Beauvoir, Paris, 1946

... and people and activities around the globe ...

Beijing, China, Dec 1948

Rush to retrieve gold from a bank, Shanghai, 1948

Shanghai, China, 1949

Daughters of the Confederacy, Richmond, Virginia, 1960

New York, 1961

San Francisco, 1960

Bankers Trust, New York, 1960

New York, 1960

Baroda, India, 1948

Dessau, Germany, April 1945

'Looking for any kind of work' Hamburg, 1952-3

Juvisy, France, 1938

La Villette, Paris, 1929

Market in the Rue Longue, Marseille, 1954

Opening of the Cannes Film Festival, 1953

Naples, Italy, 1960

Rome, 1952

Pskov, Russia, 1973

Mexico City, 1934-5

Calle Cuauhtemocztin, Mexico City, 1934-5

Alicante, Spain 1933

Coronation of King George VI, London, 1937

Lady and Horse British Museum

England, 1953

Brussels, 1932

Women Praying In Kashmir

Georgian family picnicking near a medieval monastery, 1972

So much is going on in Cartier-Bresson's work - catching something of momentous events, social satire (Diane Arbus without the edge), National Georaphic-ish recording of culturally-specific activities ... all within a strictly formalist framework.

But ultimately this is a post of pure indulgence on my part - I find these images endlessly fascinating and come back to them again and again.

Hope you'll be equally interested.

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