Henri Cartier-Bresson: Here and Now

Image of Henri Cartier-Bresson: Here and Now
Release Date: 
October 20, 2014
Thames & Hudson
Reviewed by: 

“The great beauty of this book is that it is truly an exhaustive and almost encyclopedic accounting of one man’s body of work.”

Henri Cartier-Bresson: Here and Now provides even the most uninitiated reader with an astounding body of work that is guaranteed to amaze and inform like very few other books of this genre. Admittedly, this reviewer was only cognizant of the name and the man’s reputation as one of the 20th century’s greatest photographers—and now I know why.

What needs to be explained is that the book serves as a catalogue for a major retrospective of Cartier-Bresson’s work that took place in this year at the Pompidou Center in Paris. After reading this inclusive volume the reader is suddenly well aware that this man was a sort of visual essayist or perhaps diarist who made his entries via photography rather than the written word. There is no question that there was no place and no event that escaped the eye or the lens of this brilliant photographer. He chronicled the joyous and the horrific as well as the newsworthy on an international scale.

The rather massive treasure-filled volume appeals to those whose interests center on the obvious, photography, but there is an additional appeal to those who might be interested in history, sociology as well as portraiture. Cartier-Bresson was a cut above the rest as he recorded life with a brutal honesty. This is the not the photography of retouching and airbrushing but photography that serves as a mirror of the times in which he lived.

“The Cartier-Bresson we present here is never bound to one place or time . . .”
—Clément Chéroux

If nothing else the reader is left with an amazing point of view on what photojournalism once was and where the roots of fine photo journalism were hatched. If a picture is worth a thousand words then here lie billions of words still to be told.