• Henri Cartier-Bresson, Los Angeles, 1960, gelatin silver print, 8 x 13 11/16". Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson, Paris. © Henri Cartier-Bresson/Magnum Photos

    Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Modern Century

    High Museum of Art
    1280 Peachtree Street, NE
    February 16–May 15

    The Art Institute of Chicago
    111 South Michigan Avenue
    July 24–October 3

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art
    11 West 53rd Street
    April 11–June 21

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
    151 Third Street
    March 17–January 30

    Curated by Peter Galassi

    Long canonized through his street photographs’ articulation of the “decisive moment,” pioneering photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson is now the subject of a three-hundred-print retrospective. Although he documented many of the social shifts around the world between the 1930s and the ’70s, it is primarily his portrait of the quotidian life of postwar Europe, imbued with charm and sentiment, that has seemingly endured. The exhibition’s inclusion of his reportage from China, India, and elsewhere promises to expand our understanding of his oeuvre, but it is just one of the opportunities the show offers to renew HCB’s legacy in a present whose most innovative photography is premeditated and straddles fact and fiction.

  • Henri Matisse, Flowers and Ceramic Plate, 1913, oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 32 1/2". © 2010 Les Héritiers Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

    “Matisse: Radical Invention, 1913–1917”

    The Art Institute of Chicago
    111 South Michigan Avenue
    March 20–June 20

    MoMA - The Museum of Modern Art
    11 West 53rd Street
    July 18–October 11

    Curated by Stephanie D’Alessandro and John Elderfield

    The formula is virtually ideal: Subject a landmark painting to long, deep analysis both historical and forensic—with the close collaboration of the conservation studio—and use those findings to reinterpret a crucial body of the artist’s work. If the painting in question is Henri Matisse’s Bathers by a River, which the artist reworked multiple times between 1909 and 1917, the results promise to be thrilling. Well over a hundred objects from the 1910s in all media will be assembled for this joint project between the Art Institute of Chicago and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. No shortage of ingenuity and expertise will be lavished on a sustained consideration of the artist’s working process, characterized during this phase by searching, self-critical analysis of his slow progress.