Henri Cartier Bresson. Photographer

“To photograph is to hold one’s breath, when all faculties converge to capture fleeting reality. It’s at that precise moment that mastering an image becomes a great physical and intellectual joy”.

Maurizio Vanni

A photographer you can become by profession, but an artist you are by birth: in his DNA, Henri Cartier-Bresson possessed the initiative and the patience to follow his instinct, to wait out what often seemed like a rationally unjustifiable period, together with the exaltation of the state of grace through which even the most arduous and titanic tasks appear feasible.

Initiative, instinct, foretelling and that pinch of luck that helps the bold and daring: Henri Cartier-Bresson was certain that the few photo shoots made of the event in question would be sufficient to understand its importance through essence, by means of differently documented foundational fragments. The French artist succeeds in perceiving the energy of a place, the originality of a moment, the eloquence of a posture, but above all, he possesses the patience to wait for the right moment for the great visual event to unfold.

A man and artist who has become famous for giving us the backstage of life, for rendering unforgettable some of the most important moments in the history of mankind, but also for making exceptional small events related to unknown persons who, at one point in their lives, have given themselves to something instinctive, spontaneous and curious. A new way of suspending the world and living reality through an unprecedented way of telling about it: “I prowled the streets all day, feeling very strung-up and ready to pounce, ready to ‘trap’ life”.

At the beginning of the 1930s he bought a Leica 35 mm, marking the beginning of one of the most fruitful, productive, incredible and unpredictable bonds between the artist and his expressive instrument in the history of photography, being always in the right place at the right time. Called “The Eye of the Century”, Henri Cartier-Bresson anticipated many photographic motifs that would characterize the course and evolution of artistic expression: “Photographs can reach eternity through a moment”.

At the end of the Seventies, he chose 133 photos for the volume Henri Cartier-Bresson. Photographe published in 1979. The result was a complete and exhaustive anthological exhibition that tells the story of the “decisive moments” that have distinguished the artistic life of a person born to snap images from time and who grew up to bear witness – in an absolutely personal way – to some of the instants that would become historical, fantastic and memorable: “Photography is a way of shouting, of freeing oneself, not of proving or asserting one’s one originality. It’s a way of life”.

The exhibition, organized by the Lu.C.C.A. – Lucca Center of Contemporary Art in collaboration with the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson and Magnum Photos, will remain open to the public at the museum until 3rd November 2013. Partner in the exhibition: iT’s Tissue – The Italian Technology Experience, the event organized by the Tissue Italy Network that groups together 12 companies producing machines and systems for the tissue industry, held in Lucca from 22nd to 30th June 2013.

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