The English by Martin Parr & Henri Cartier-Bresson

Thursday 11 May 2023
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Master of Photography: Martin Parr, Embankment Galleries

Scarborough, North Yorkshire, England, 2016 © Martin Parr / Magnum Photos / Rocket Gallery

In 1962, Henri-Cartier Bresson accepted a commission from British television ITV/ABC to make a documentary on the north of England. Broadcast only once and unearthed by the Cinémathèque Française last year, it was made from still photographs. We discover previously unknown photographs, that make an amusing portrait of English people at work and at leisure.

In 1989, Martin Parr, a photographer already recognised for his controversial colour photographs of the British “middle class”, applied for membership in the Magnum Photos cooperative agency. At the time, Henri Cartier-Bresson, co-founder of the agency, strongly opposed it. A meeting between the two photographers finally allowed a personal “reconciliation” as well as the coexistence within the agency of their diametrically opposed conceptions of photography. Martin Parr finally joined the agency in 1994 and even served as President (2013-2017).