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