New York Photo Review
NYPR Archives - 2010

Henri Cartier-Bresson
Very Early Prints
Henri Cartier-Bresson, “Lovers on the Beach, Dieppe, France”, 1926

Cartier-Bresson was born in 1908, took his first photograph in 1931 and the rest is history. “Very Early Prints” is just that—vintage work from his early years—and even though some of the thirteen images here are iconic, some you may never have seen before. What you also may never have seen before are prices that range from $25,000 to $240,000 (Cuba, 1934.)

I wasn’t familiar with the Cuba image—it’s a 6” x 9” photograph, printed in 1934, of what appears to be four horses from a carousel...with the hind legs of two others in the edge of the frame. A decisive moment? – certainly an expensive one. It does have its charms. Another image, “Trafalgar Square, George IV’s Coronation, 1937”, was printed in 1950. It’s priced at $60,000. The image “Srinagar, Kashmir, 1948”, that shows the backs of four people in long hooded cloaks facing a mountain range, is gorgeous. Price: $75,000. Seeing some of the other classics here, and knowing that these are indeed Cartier-Bresson originals gives them special significance. This show is an interesting contrast to the much larger Cartier-Bresson show currently at MoMa. But you won’t see any price tags on those photos.

 by unidentified photographer.
Henri Cartier-Bresson, “Havana, Cuba” 1934

Henri Cartier-Bresson
Very Early Prints

Howard Greenberg
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Friday, April 30 to
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Hours: Tues - Sat, 10 to 6