Issue #172  5/22/2010
Barcelona Auction House to Sell Work of Two Photojournalism Giants: Cartier-Bresson and Agustí Centelles

Soler y Llach will auction the work of two pioneers of modern photojournalism, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Agustí Centelles, on May 27 at its headquarters in Barcelona, Spain. You can bid and/or request a printed catalog by emailing syl@soleryllach.com , or visit the online catalog at: http://www.soleryllach.com/soler4/proximas .

The first session, which starts at 5 pm will focus on Henri Cartier-Bresson, his photographs, correspondence and photo books from the Josep Martínez Collection.

Henri Cartier-Bresson is considered one of the pioneers of modern photojournalism. In 1952 he published his book " "Images à la Sauvette" (The Decisive Moment) in which he outlined a particular way for a photographer to approach reality that caused quite a stir at the time and highly influenced several generations of photojournalists.

This part of the auction consists of 174 lots of some of his most representative images, including "Derriere la Gare Saint-Lazare" (1932), "Rue Mouffetard" (1954), "Au bord de la Marne" (1938), and photo books, such as "Images à la Sauvette" (1955), "Les Européene" (1955), and the journal "Crapouillot" in which he was published in its first issue in 1933. This auction also includes almost all the books Cartier-Bresson was included in, with the added value of being dedicated by the photographer to the collector Josep Martínez. The correspondence between the collector and Henri Cartier-Bresson, Martine Frank and the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation in Paris is also offered for sale. Estimates on the photographs themselves range from 1000 to 3000 €.

The second session, which will start at approximately 6:30 pm, will feature the photographs of Agustí Centelles, from 1934 to 1939.

Agustí Centelles (1909-1985) is one of the founders of modern photojournalism in Spain, and one of the most important war photographers of the first half of the 20th century. His interest in film and instant photography led him to buy a Leica and practice a more contemporary style of photography, where he often took photographs that would become part of what became known as The New Vision. His particular images were dynamic and different from the photographs of most of his colleagues, who made a more static type of image.

Centelles' photographs were published in major national magazines and in the foreign press, and he was one of the first photographers to hit the streets to document the fascist uprising that occurred on July 19, 1936 in Barcelona. During the Civil War he worked as a photographer for the Comissariat de Propaganda de la Generalitat de Catalunya. Agustí Centelles made some of the most important photographs of the war, with many of his photographs becoming part of the iconic imagery of this period.

This catalog starts with a series of photographs taken at his very beginning as a photojournalist. There is also a set of photographs of the report he made about the events of 6 October 1934, although the majority of photographs in the set were made during the Spanish Civil War. Estimates of the photographs range from 1000 to 3000 €.