In 1931 Cartier-Bresson began to use a camera to make photographs that reveal the influence of both Cubism and Surrealism-bold, flat planes, collage-like compositions, and spatial ambiguity-as well as an affinity for society's outcasts and the back alleys where they lived and worked. Within a year, he had mastered the miniature 35mm Leica camera and had begun traveling in Italy, Spain, Morocco, and Mexico, developing what would become one of the hallmarks of twentieth-century photographic style. In his 1952 landmark monograph The Decisive Moment, Cartier-Bresson defined his philosophy: "To me, photography is the simultaneous recognition, in a fraction of a second, of the significance of an event as well as of a precise organization of forms which gave that event its proper expression."
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Henri Cartier-Bresson; [...]; Nina Rosenwald; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, January 10, 1978
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Sight Unseen: Photographs from the Gilman Collection".
Museum of Modern Art, New York. "Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Early Work," September 1, 1987–November 1, 1987.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Framing a Century: Master Photographers, 1840–1940," June 3, 2008–September 1, 2008.
Kirstein, Lincoln, and Beaumont Newhall. The Photographs of Henri Cartier-Bresson. New York: Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1947. p. 25.
The world of Henri Cartier Bresson. New York: Viking Press, 1968. p. 22.
Apraxine, Pierre. Photographs from the Collection of the Gilman Paper Company. Reeds Springs, Mo.: White Oak Press, 1985. pl. 183.
Galassi, Peter. Henri Cartier-Bresson: the Early Work. New York: Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1987. p. 100.
Henri Cartier-Bresson : the man, the image and the world : a retrospective. London ; New York: Thames & Hudson, 2003. p. 77.