“The 20th century was the century
of the image (...).
To tell Henri Cartier-Bresson’s story and to unravel his work
is essentially to tell the story of a look.
Throughout the 20th century, this roaming,
lucid eye has captured the fascination of Africa in the 1920's, crossed
the tragic fortunes of Spanish republicans, accompanied the liberation
of Paris, caught a weary Gandhi just hours before his assassination,
and witnessed the victory of the communists in China.
Henri Cartier-Bresson was also Jean Renoir's
assistant on three major films, an artist who sees himself an artisan
but who nevertheless established Magnum, the most prestigious of all
photo agencies, and who immortalised his major contemporaries : Mauriac
in a state of mystical levitation, Giacometti, Sartre, Faulkner or
Camus, and as many more all taken at the decisive moment, all portraits
l’œil du siècle by Pierre Assouline
Folio / Gallimard