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André Kertész – Selected from the Hungarian Museum of Photography, Kechkemet

André Kertész was born Andor Kertész (changed his first name to André at the age of 21) in Hungary, 1894. He bought his first camera and made his first photograph while working as a clerk at the Budapest stock exchange in 1912. After years of amateur snapshot photography in his native Hungary, he moved to Paris in 1925 and began a career as a freelance photographer. There the young transplant, speaking little French, took to the streets, wandering, observing, and developing his intimate approach to imagemaking. He also met and began to photograph other artists, including Brassaï and Chagall, and members of the Dada Movement. One of them dubbed him „Brother Seeing Eye“, an allusion to a medieval monastery where all the monks were blind except one. From 1933 to 1936, Kertész published three books of his own photographs. Immigrating to the United States in 1936 with his wife to escape the increasing tension in Europe that was leading to World War II, he settled in New York, where he earned his living photographing architecture and interiors for magazines such as House and Garden. Kertész is now recognized as one of the seminal figures of photojournalism Henri Cartier-Bresson once stated on behalf of himself, Robert Capa, and Brassaï, „Whatever we have done, Kertész did first.“ Cartier-Bresson’s assessment extends beyond the immediate contact André Kertész had with the concentrated community of artists that he joined in September of 1925 in Paris, for Kertész embodied an uncanny ability to create in advance what avant-garde movements of the period held as ideals. Pure and concise, Kertész’s images render emotionally-rooted everyday scenes and objects into striking geometric compositions.
The exhibition shown in Gallery of Hungarian Culture Institute is kindly granted from Hungarian Museum of Photography-Kecskemét www.fotomuzeum.hu