previews

  • 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.

  • Eadweard Muybridge, Cannonballs and San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz Island, 1869, stereoscopic black-and-white photographs on studio card, 3 3/8 x 7".

    “Helios: Eadweard Muybridge in a Time of Change”

    Tate Britain
    Millbank
    September 13–January 16

    San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
    151 Third Street
    February 26–June 7

    Corcoran Gallery of Art
    500 17th Street, NW
    April 10–July 18

    Curated by Philip Brookman

    Eadweard Muybridge’s fame rests largely on the 1887 publication and popular dissemination of Animal Locomotion, in which marvelously matter-of-fact images of men, women, children, horses, elephants, birds, and anything else he could wrangle into his studio are arranged in 781 sequential grids like frames in a film. That project has nearly eclipsed a career of experimentation and innovation that began in San Francisco twenty years earlier and involved virtually every sort of photographic subject, process, and format. This retrospective, the first devoted to the full range of Muybridge’s work, focuses new attention on his pioneering western landscapes, including unusually large-scale views of Yosemite and detailed panoramas of San Francisco, as well as the devices Muybridge invented to capture and project motion.

  • Renée Green, Space Poem 2, 2008, mixed media, dimensions variable. Installation view, National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

    Renée Green: Endless Dreams and Time-Based Streams

    Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
    701 Mission Street
    February 20–June 20

    Curated by Betti-Sue Hertz

    The conceptual currents within Renée Green’s twenty-year practice gain force from the cyclical return to prior installations, as each reconfiguration condenses a multitude of ambient identities grounded in global histories, feminism, identity politics, and fiction. One of the two recent projects that make up this show, Endless Dreams and Water Between, 2009, commissioned for the National Maritime Museum in London, blends meditations on oceans and memories, uncertainties and desires, in film and sound works, banners, diagrams, and drawings. Also on view is United Space of Conditioned Becoming, 2007, an assemblage of many previous works. Here travel is a metaphor and an actuality, evidenced in videos documenting Green’s peripatetic activities, while banners serve up a matrix of quotations and aphorisms that frame the streaming dialogic and informational flow that’s been building throughout her career.