Andre Kertesz (Hardback)
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Short Description for Andre Kertesz Andre Kertesz's quest for authenticity made him one of the most influential photographers in the history of the medium. Kertesz was one of the first modern photographers to create forms that cannot be reduced in aesthetic terms to a particular style.
- Published: 26 September 2006
- Format: Hardback 128 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780714846200 ISBN 10: 0714846201
- Sales rank: 369,960
Full description for Andre Kertesz
Andre Kertesz (1894-1985) is one of the greatest photographers of twentieth-century modernism. His long and productive working life ensured that he was not only able to witness the beginnings of hand-held photography and shape the development of the medium, but to also have a lasting influence on contemporary photographers' work. A mentor to photographers like Cartier-Bresson, Kertesz was one of the first modern photographers to create new forms that cannot be reduced in aesthetic terms to a particular style. Attracted to the incidental and accidental, his work moves subtly between abstraction and Surrealism, Constructivism and humanism. Kertesz's early work reveals his emigre status. As a Hungarian Jew living in Paris during the 1920s and 1930s, Kertesz's images of urban landscapes embodied a subtle humour and a sensibility that was heightened by his play of light and shadow. Like well-known Hungarian poets and painters of the time, Kertesz looked to ancient vernacular traditions to inspire his recording of the ageless qualities of life but, nevertheless, without sentimentality. In 1927 the avant-garde gallery Au Sacred du Printemps offered Kertesz his first show. The following year, Kertesz, together with others, such as Man Ray, Nadar and Eugene Atget, took part in the First Independent Exhibition of Photography, know as the 'Salon de L'Escalier'. After gaining recognition in press circles through publication of his work, Kertesz accepted a contract in New York with the Keystone agency, thus launching his commercial career. From 1937-1949 he was a freelancer for many prolific magazine titles such as "Vogue" and "Harper's Bazaar" and in 1949 worked for Conde Nast's "House and Garden" magazine until 1962. Kertesz often spoke of his melancholy and isolation from other artists while living in New York. The rediscovery of a large body of negatives from his Hungarian and French periods, that he had left behind in Paris, resurrected his love for his art and gave him the strength, while in his late-60s, to relaunch his personal photographic aspirations. His renewed interest brought his work sharply back into public view and gained him a one-man-show at the Museum of Modern Art in 1964 and was then later shown regularly at major international institutions. In 1983 he was awarded the Legion of Honour by the French government, but it was Henri Cartier-Bresson who paid him the finest tribute when he said, 'Each time Andre Kertesz's shutter clicks, I feel his heart beating.'