The Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation is currently exhibiting a fascinating study of Mexico during the period 1932-1934, as seen through the work of two master photographers, Paul Strand and Henri Cartier-Bresson.
Paul Strand arrived in Mexico in November 1932. Aged forty, and recently separated from his wife Rebecca, Strand was keen for a new start. Eighteen years younger, Henri Cartier-Bresson arrived in 1934, having originally signed up for a French ethnographic mission. Both photographer’s reasons for visiting Mexico were very different, and this exhibition of 90 prints invites comparison of their photographic styles. During this important period, Strand developed his ideas of the ‘collective portrait’, the depiction of a region through still photographs of architecture, individuals, religious objects and still lifes. By contrast, Cartier-Bresson captured everyday life more informally, and his images often evoke the heat of the region through the controlled use of light.