Henri Cartier-Bresson, Europeans
At the beginning of 1950, Europe was slowly recovering from a devastating period of war. Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson - a refugee himself from a prison camp during the war - traveled from Scandinavia to the Irish Bogs across the continent to capture portraits of its inhabitants. He discovered a shared identity that surpassed the borders of countries and nationalities: A European identity.
‘Europeans’ is a detailed study of the European - from city dweller to rural worker - in his daily life. With sometimes just a picture of a glance, Cartier-Bresson tells us a whole story. But more often, Cartier-Bresson focuses on couples or on crowds who come together to protest and celebrate an event. His nuanced yet universal study makes him one of the great masters of 20th century photography.
Henri Cartier-Bresson, born in France, was one of the co-founders of the world-famous Magnum Photos collective, the first ever photographer cooperative. Throughout his life he got the opportunity to photograph numerous celebrities, such as Marilyn Monroe and Mahatma Gandhi. He was married to Antwerpian photographer Martine Franck. After the death of her husband, she founded 'Le Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson' to preserve his work. It’s thus very fitting that AntwerpPhoto will show ‘Europeans’ this summer in Franck’s hometown at the DIVA museum.