By Sarah Jost
Unlike many artists who only achieve posthumous success, Chilean photographer Sergio Larraín was quick to receive recognition when two of his paintings were bought by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City when he was 25. Two years later, the British Council commissioned Larraín to take a series of photographs of London over the winter of 1958-59. It was this series that caught the attention of famed photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson and earned Larraín a place at Cartier-Bresson’s Magnum Photos agency.
I am forever searching for the perfect photograph of London. Something I can carry with me always that immediately evokes my city: the feeling, the smell, the sounds. A physical image that matches the London that lives in my heart. Sergio Larraín’s photographs from that winter are the closest I’ve ever seen. A book of Larraín’s London commission wasn’t published until 1998. Several of the photographs can be seen at the Tate Britain’s Another London exhibit until 16 September.
Due to copyright by Sergio Larraín and Magnum Photos, only a few of Larraín’s London photographs are displayed below. Many of the rest can be viewed in this gallery on the Magnum Photos website.