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“Bruce Davidson/Paul Caponigro: Two American Photographers in Britain and Ireland,” at the Yale Center for British Art, is a strange but memorable pairing. It joins the Magnum photojournalist Bruce Davidson, best known for his aggressive New York street and subway photography, to a spiritually minded landscape photographer in the mold of Ansel Adams and Minor White. And although its title suggests some shared expatriate experience, a split quickly develops.

The curators, perhaps acknowledging as much, divide the third-floor galleries neatly down the middle. At times, it seems as if Mr. Davidson and Mr. Caponigro are re-enacting a classic contest in 20th-century photography, a competition between the meticulously technical, landscape-driven Bay Area School of Adams and Edward Weston, and the spontaneous street photography of Mr. Davidson’s mentors, Cornell Capa and Henri Cartier-Bresson (who is said to have remarked, “The world is falling to pieces, and all Adams and Weston photograph is rocks and trees.”)

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