Presented for the first time in English, this volume brings together twelve notable interviews and conversations with Henri Cartier-Bresson carried out between 1951 and 1998. While many of us are acquainted with his images, there are so few texts available by Cartier-Bresson on his photographic process. These verbal, primary accounts capture the spirit of the master photographer and serve as a lasting document of his life and work, which has inspired generations of photographers and artists.
Here, Cartier-Bresson speaks passionately, with metaphors and similes, about the world and photography. A man of principles shaped by the evolving eras of the twentieth century, his major influences included Surrealism, European politics of the 1930s and ’40s, the Second World War, and his experiences with Magnum as cofounder and reporter. This book illuminates his thoughts, personality, and reflections on a seminal career.
In his own words: "[Photography] is a way of questioning the world and questioning yourself at the same time. . . . It entails a discipline. For me, freedom is a basic frame of reference, and inside that frame are all the possible variations. Everything, everything, everything. But it is within a frame. The important thing is the sense of limit. And visually, it is the sense of form. Form is important. The structure of things. The space."
Reprint edition, 2017