Ten years after his death, Rome and Paris celebrate the great French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson with a retrospective exhibition.
Hosted first and designed by the Centre Pompidou of Paris this oeuvre has just landed in Rome’s Ara Pacis exposition space.
We love the photographer, one of the most important of the 20th century, and the exhibitions usually held in this venue. But we were disappointed by this retrospective. Maybe our expectations were too high, considered how much we like photography. We’d like to read your comments and know your views.
The exhibition’s aim is to show that there were many Cartier-Bresson, and not just one. But it fails on this account as there are too many sub-sections and each of them has too few pictures that prove how different his style, technique and subjects were. Sometimes only 5 or 6 pictures each, too little to appreciate nuances and differences for an average visitor who is probably more interested in understanding what made him special rather than how he changed over his entire career.
Furthermore, this space, which is not too big, hosts way too many pictures. Basically, it is easy to get lost and it’s hard to follow the itinerary designed by the curators.
Most photographs are beautiful, of course, and it’s nice to see pictures of him in action taken by his colleagues, his paintings and pictures of his youth.
What comes out very clearly is that Cartier-Bresson travelled a lot, not only for work but also for pleasure before he decided to become a photographer. While watching his pictures you’ll enjoy a very special journey in space and time in the 20th century.
We particularly appreciated the corner devoted to “color vs black and white” with interesting explanations, magazine covers and digital pictures that say a lot about his art.
His ability to combine poetry with photo-journalism documentation skills is particularly outstanding and definitely make him the eye of the past century.
The exhibition runs until January 25 and is open until 10pm on Fridays and Saturdays.