Internationally renowned photographs

From private collections in New Zealand

21 February - 15 March 2014


Internationally renowned photographs


Henri Cartier-Bresson

Behind the Gare St. Lazare, 1932

Silver Gelatin Print

French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson is celebrated for pioneering photo journalism and invented the expression "the decisive moment", which neatly wraps up the laden immediacy of photography. The influence of his street shots has shaped much of the photography practised today.

Behind the Gare St. Lazare is Cartier-Bresson's most iconic photograph. He took this black and white photograph in 1932 outside the Saint-Lazar train station in Paris. Gare St. Lazare has been portrayed by many artists (Monet, Manet, et al) but Henri Cartier-Bresson's 1932 take on the station was totally different. Behind the Gare St. Lazare is not a photo noted for its historicity, but it is a photo that represents the entire life's works of Cartier-Bresson. Throughout his life, Cartier-Bresson championed the Decisive Moment, and was a seeker of the unexplored. This photograph represents both, and defined his career.