Exhibition
June 5 - August 14, 2008

 Henri Cartier-Bresson | Helen Levitt  Side by Side


For the very first time Henri Cartier-Bresson and Helen Levitt, both internationally recognized twentieth century masters of street photography, will be exhibited side by side. 

Helen Levitt, at 95 years old, is considered by many the greatest living  photographer within the tradition of the street photograph, of which her friend Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) is perhaps the acknowledged master.  Despite his being French and she being a New Yorker, they shared a sensibility rich in the poetic drama of the street and sophisticated in the formal nuances of the frame. Each photographer quickly received significant recognition within only a few years of their first making photographs.

Many wonderful juxtapositions of photographs by each will be shown: Cartier-Bressonís children playing among the ruins in Seville share the energy and formal complexity found in Levittís boys playing with branches in a vacant lot in Spanish Harlem. A near perfect pairing juxtaposes Cartier-Bressonís boy carrying a wine bottle (Rue Mouffetard, Paris, 1954) along side Helen Levittís woman holding milk bottles (New York City, c. 1945). It is interesting to note that the Levitt was taken about a decade before the Cartier-Bresson.

Less formally connected, but perhaps more emotionally tied, are Cartier-Bressonís picture of a man jumping over a puddle (Behind the Gare St. Lazare) and Levittís child sticking her face out of a baby carriage ( New York City ). Two perfect moments of joy.

Though Cartier-Bresson took pictures around the globe while Helen Levitt stayed close to home, it was in Mexico and New York City where their metaphorical paths crossed. This connection is one of the rare times when they both photographed in the same place and the juxtaposition of the images each made shows them at their closest.  

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  (click image for detail view)



Helen Levitt
New York, c.1945
20 x 16" silver print, pr. later

 

 

 

Henri Cartier-Bresson
Rue Mouffetard, Paris, 1954
20 x 16" silver print, pr. later

 

 




Helen Levitt
New York, c.1939
20 x 16" silver print, pr. later



Henri Cartier-Bresson
Calle Cuauhtemoctzin, Mexico City
11 x 14" silver print, pr. later

 

 

 



Helen Levitt
New York, 1972

16 x 20" dye transfer print, pr. later

 

 

 



Helen Levitt
New York, c.1942
11 x 14" silver print, pr. later

 

 



Henri Cartier-Bresson
Alicante, Spain, 1933
12 x 16" silver print, pr. later

 

 

 



Helen Levitt
New York, c.1940
11 x 14" silver print, pr. later

 

 




Henri Cartier-Bresson
Hyde Park, London, 1937
11 x 14" silver print, pr. later



Helen Levitt
New York, c.1940

11 x 14" silver print, pr. later

 

 

 



Helen Levitt
New York, c.1940

6.5 x 8.5" silver print

 

 

 

Henri Cartier-Bresson
Children Playing
by the Berlin Wall, 1962
6.5 x 9.75" silver print, pr. 70s

 

 



Henri Cartier-Bresson
Andalusia, Spain, 1933
11 x 14" silver print, pr. later

 

 

 



Henri Cartier-Bresson
Children Playing in the Ruins
Seville, 1933

11 x 14" silver print, pr. later
NFS

 

 

 

Henri Cartier-Bresson
Children Playing in the Ruins
Seville, 1933
6 5/8 x 9 5/8" silver print
pr. c.1947

 

 

Helen Levitt
New York, 1972
11 x 14" dye transfer print
pr. later

 

 



Helen Levitt
New York, c.1940

11 x 14" silver print, pr. later

 

 

 



Henri Cartier-Bresson
Simigne-la-Rotonde, 1969
11 x 14" silver print, pr. later



Helen Levitt
New York, c.1945
11 x 14" silver print, pr. later

 

 

 

 



Henri Cartier-Bresson
Hyeres, France, 1932

11 x14" silver print

 


 

Helen Levitt
New York, c.1939
11 x 14" silver print

 

 

 

 

Henri Cartier-Bresson
Manhattan, 1947
11 x14" silver print, pr. later

 


 



Helen Levitt
New York, c.1940
14 x 11" silver print, pr. later

 

 

 



Henri Cartier-Bresson
Behind the Gare St. Lazare
Paris, 1932
20 x16" silver print, pr. later

Helen Levitt
Mexico, 1941
11 x14" silver print, pr. later

 

 

 

 

 

 


Artist Information

Helen Levitt Helen Levitt

 


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