Posts Tagged ‘Henri Cartier- Bresson’

Artist of the moment…..photographer Helen Levitt

Helen Levitt was an American photographer who was renown for her “street photography.” Levitt was renown for her photographs of the Big Apple, New York City. Helen Levitt was born in Besonhurst, Brooklyn, New York. At the age of eighteen she began to work for a company specializing in commercial photography and the portrait. The artist quit high school and decided she would teach herself the art of photography.

In the mid 1930s she would meet french photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. Shortly after meeting the photographer Levitt switched to using the same type of camera Bresson had.

First photographs of Levitt were published in a magazine in 1939.

What I enjoy most about Levitt is the idea of capturing New York for the lower and middle class people that lived there. Especially intriguing are the shots of children at play. They seem so carefree and natural rather than posed. Another theme I love is she saw the value of street art in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Its awesome to be able to compare street artists from older times to the very impressive form and gallery level street are we see in the present day art world. Levitt enjoyed shooting art that was created by children.

Helen Levitt had a solo exhibition of her work in 1943. This was a show having to do with her photographs of children.

The artist also worked in the film industry. Levitt was a writer and head of cinematography.

Winner of two Guggenheim Fellowships.

In this clip a great montage of images by Helen Levitt:

Levitt passed away in 2009 at the age of 95 years old.

price range information: Works range from $3,000 to $55,000.


Artist of the moment….Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson

Henri Cartier-Bresson is widely considered the Father of Modern Photojournalism. Bresson was born in Chanteloup, France. A city within 30 miles of Paris, France in the year 1908. The artist was also a talented painter and draughtsman.

price range information: Works range from $5,000 to $60,000.

The artist was a student of Andre L’Hote. Below an example of L’hote’s style, this very modernistic looking painting is a seascape titled “Port of Bordeaux, France.” L’Hote ran his own academy based out of Paris, France.


In 1931 he started to take photographs. He visited both Europe and Africa.

Went to New York City to study with Paul Brand. Brand has been featured here before and is renown for his film “Manhattan” showing the life of a person living in Manhattan, New York in the early 1920s. Here is a clip from their documentary. Very interesting to see how New York City has grown over nearly one century.

Whilst in New York City studying film making Cartier- Bresson would work with a French film maker named Jean Renoir. Renoir was a director and ceramic artist.

In 1932 Henri Cartier-Bresson had his photographs published for the first time.

Cartier- Bresson would go on to document many important occasions including the coronation of the King of England. Other events include the struggle of Ghandi against his government. Before the internet and Cartier-Bresson was the world’s eye traveling to far off places including Japan and China.

In this clip we view a great montage of works by Henri Cartier-Bresson:

The artist was a prisoner of Nazi Germany during 1940 before escaping. He then documented the freedom of the French people by the Allied Forces.

In 1975 the artist started to paint again.

Henri Cartier- Bresson passed away in 2004 at the age of 95 years old.

To close we view the artist walking about the streets and shooting photographs. Nothing fancy here, just get out with no assistants and go to work! The clip is in French, but still great to see the master out working!


Artist of the moment…..Photographer Bruce Davidson

Bruce Davidson is a world renown photographer born in Oak Park, Illinois in 1933.  As a child he was raised by a single mother. His mother helped him build his first darkroom when Davidson was only 10 years old.

Was the first artist working with photography to receive a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts.

Worked a short time for LIFE magazine.

In 1949 received first prize award from the Kodak Corporation for his photography in a national high school competition.

Davidson was a superior student attended the Rochester Institute of Technology and then went on to study at Yale University.

One college professor he met was the artist Joseph Albers, who encouraged Davidson to forgo photography and take up painting.

After college Davidson was drafted into the army. He was transferred to Paris, France and there he met the famous photographer  Henri Cartier- Bresson.

In 1957 he left the army and went to work for Magnum Photos. Bresson had introduced him to the company and Davidson was thrilled to work with Magnum Photos.

One major project that brought Davidson much publicity was his photographic journals of the civil rights movement. Through these works we were able to see what Freedom Fighters looked like. Davidson found great appreciation for the project and for his efforts received a Guggenheim Fellowship.  At the conclusion of this project the images were displayed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.

In this clip we view some of the wonderful photography by Davidson as he captured the emotional realities of racism in the country.

In this clip Bruce Davidson talks about London, England and his beloved New York City.

Another project was to shoot how the lower income people and those at or just above the poverty line were living in New York City around East 100th Street.  This project also brought Davidson much critical acclaim.

Central Park in New York City was covered in the 1990s.

As you can probably figure out, Bruce Davidson is based out of New York City.

price range information: Prints and originals range from $1,500 to $150,000.

And to close we visit another series by Davidson receiving much critical acclaim, the Subway series. Most interesting in this interview was the many different feelings conveyed on the subway, could the subway really be sexual?