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Henri Cartier-Bresson: Tete a Tete
ISBN 050054218X / 9780500542187 / 0-500-54218-X
Publisher Thames & Hudson
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Henri Cartier-Bresson's TÍte a TÍte, his portraits of some of the most potent icons of the latter half of the 20th century, is an understated yet powerful and challenging book: a masterpiece of the photographer's art of composition and expression. Presented in non-chronological order, yet arranged so as to provide links and parallels in posture and facial likenesses, familiar icons easily mix with anonymous subjects. A very young Truman Capote in crumpled T-shirt, on the brink of literary fame; a very old Colette, but retaining her inquisitorial gaze; Matisse with his birds, Sartre with his pipe, Igor Stravinsky, astonishingly similar in 1946 and 1967; a beaming Che Guevara. There are also group portraits of unknowns, but none the less resonant for that: besuited men in 1950s Iran, tribes people from Kashmir, prostitutes in Mexico, the women of southern Spain, dressed eternally in black. As the art historian EH Gombrich comments in his introduction to TÍte a TÍte, Cartier-Bresson, in these portraits, moves significantly away from the received techniques of the "society" photographer. Instead, he "always preferred to lie in wait for the telling moment". --Catherine Taylor [via]