This has got to be one of our new favorite books.
Photographing America: Henri Cartier-Bresson / Walker Evans is on the coffee table and in 2 days, has been opened about 6 times.
Actually, that’s a lot in a short time.
Now , this is a book we first found in Paris last fall, while visiting the HCB Fondation. It is essentially the catalog of a show they exhibited, except brilliantly printed in hardbound form.
If it seems vaguely familiar, we did a giveaway of the original French edition months ago.
This newly released English edition made it almost a new book for us.
Not always the sharpest knife in the drawer, we do not speak nor read French.
The accompanying text is priceless in this edition.
Oh, wait…we got ahead of ourselves. Back to what’s in the book.
The book draws comparisons and distinctions between these two photographers from their body of work photographing America between 1929 and 1947.
Although Walker Evans photographs were made during the majority of time noted in the books title, Cartier-Bresson’s were mainly made in the last 2 years of range.
He had come to the US preparing for a huge show at MOMA, but the curators were quite surprised to see him, as they thought he had been killed in the war, and were planning a posthumous exhibit. Well, he took to the road in the interim to photograph America.
That is actually another really cool story, that ends with a book, that we gave away once before, and may do again.
The two photographers had actually influenced each other, and had a mutual respect for each others work.
The different visions of a similar subject, is always great to see, as you add the 3rd element of perception, in understanding the two artists work. Truly though, both men never thought of their photography as fine art, as painting or the written word is. Looks like it is now.
Accompanied by Truman Capote for the first leg of his trip he described the French photographer as “dancing along the pavement like an agitated dragonfly, three Leicas winging from straps around his neck, a fourth one hugged to his eye â€¦ clicking away with a joyous intensity, a religious absorption”.
Walker Evans has always been considered a quintessential American photographer, and although his imagery of America was now heading towards the bleak, his influence on Henri Cartier-Bressons work is unquestionable.
And the same goes for Walker Evans being influenced by the man who defined the term ” decisive moment .”
So it is fair to say that his book may hold you spellbound, and the written words will give you a context to, perhaps, place these two masters work into.
Each photo has it’s own page to live on, and the printing is superb.
We are very happy to offer this book this week for the giveaway.
Just remember you have to be signed up for the NEWSLETTER to be eligible, then on Weds. morning at 9:00AM PST, you’ll get an email from us with the full details on getting a copy of this book for free.
Even if you don’t get it gratis from us, you should click here
and order one up. Whether you photograph on the street or just appreciate it when it’s done well, this deserves space in your life.
Next week we are giving away some gear, so the switch is in the air.
Hope you’re having a great summer!