I was asked recently, “why is Henri Cartier-Bresson your favorite photographer”? I reflected upon that question for a second, and said: it’s his approach that I admire, the placement of the person, his view point, his discretion, being present without being visible, his humility, his sense of composition. He has been around for a long time, has been everywhere and has taken many pictures throughout his long life, but always with the same approach: placement, a sharp sense of observation, discretion and just taking a few shots: not 500, not 50, not even five just a few: one, two, three at the most of one subject, no more than that. So, when the fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson presents a new exhibit, it is an everlasting pleasure to come to Paris, visit it and enjoy his photographs. This time around, the fondation presents his photographs of the coronation of King George VI, on May 12th, 1937, at the occasion of the other coronation, that of King Charles III, with a most appropriate title “The Other Coronation”. Henri Cartier-Bresson was sent there by Ce Soir, a communist newspaper, to cover the event. Instead of focusing on the event itself, HCB decides to take photos of the people, those ordinary folks, present that day to follow their king. The result is stunning, portraits, often funny, grave, somber, joyful. People side by side, trying to get a glimpse of the event, or at times, just falling asleep and missing it all. The small scale exhibit is located in “The Tube”, the new space underneath the original exhibition space of the Fondation. For me, Henri Cartier-Bresson remains the King.

Coronation of King George VI. 12 May 1937 ©Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos
Coronation of King George VI. 12 May 1937 ©Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos
Coronation of King George VI. 12 May 1937 ©Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos
Coronation of King George VI. 12 May 1937 ©Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson / Magnum Photos
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