Peter Galassi: Henri Cartier-Bresson

Decisive moments

Helen Ennis


Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century
by Peter Galassi
Thames & Hudson and the Museum of Modern Art, $140 hb, 367 pp, 9780500543917



Everyone, I suspect, has a favourite photograph by Henri Cartier-Bresson. Mine shows two couples picnicking beside what I have always thought was the Marne River but turns out to be somewhere else altogether. Juvisy (1938), as it is now titled, depicts urban workers relaxing near a man-made pond in the suburbs of Paris. This is indicative of the exhaustive research of Peter Galassi and his colleagues, who have brought to light a huge amount of new information on Cartier-Bresson and his photographs. Their book has been published to accompany a Cartier-Bresson exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, where Galassi is chief curator of photography.

Read the rest of this article by subscribing to ABR Online for as little as $10 a month.

We offer a range of subscription options, including print, which can be found by clicking here. If you are already a subscriber, enter your username and password in the ‘Log In’ section in the top right-hand corner of the screen.

If you require assistance, contact us or consult the Frequently Asked Questions page.

Published in November 2010, no. 326
Helen Ennis

Helen Ennis

Helen Ennis holds the William Dobell Chair in Art History at the Australian National University, and is a past ABR Fellow.  She is an independent photography curator and writer specialising in the area of Australian photographic practice. Her publications include Reveries: Photography and Mortality (2007) and Photography and Australia (2007). Her biography Margaret Michaelis: Love, Loss and Photography (2006) was awarded the Nettie Palmer Prize for Non-Fiction in the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, and the prize for Best Book from the Power Institute of Fine Arts and the Art Association of Australia and New Zealand. She is currently writing a biography of the photographer Olive Cotton. (Photograph by William Yang)

Leave a comment

Please note that all comments must be approved by ABR and comply with our Terms & Conditions.

NB: If you are an ABR Online subscriber or contributor, you will need to login to ABR Online in order to post a comment. If you have forgotten your login details, or if you receive an error message when trying to submit your comment, please email your comment (and the name of the article to which it relates) to We will review your comment and, subject to approval, we will post it under your name.