The Easel

21st August 2018

Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment at the International Center of Photography

Cartier-Bresson is synonymous with the term ‘the decisive moment’. That is often taken to mean a split-second action shot – like his famous image of a man jumping a puddle. But, as a New York show highlights, this view is too narrow. Cartier-Bresson’s aim was bigger; to capture the ephemeral event that revealed a bigger truth, to “”trap” life – to preserve life in the act of living.”

14th August 2018

“I Want to Paint Every Color in the World”

Stanley Whitney’s colour grid paintings have put his star in the ascendant. These grids also feature in his works on paper. They are not “high end copies of his paintings” but autonomous experiments in colour balance and materials. Still, they share the same ambition as his paintings – “I wanted color like Rothko, but I wanted air like Pollock.”

Paradise Is Found Underfoot in These Majestic Persian Textiles

For Persian royalty in the 17th century, bliss was a walled garden with water channels. Carpets, which they took with them when they travelled, adopted garden design motifs. The legendary Wagner carpet, on display in New York for the first time, is a most spectacular example. Its pattern is fabulously detailed, invoking a well-ordered natural world – “a mirror of heaven”.