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Biography Intro

Image: International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum 

Bruce Silverstein Gallery is the New York representative of the André Kertész Estate.

André Kertész’s ability to construct lyrical images, infused with wit and insight would remain a constant throughout his long career. Neither a surrealist nor a strict photojournalist, he nevertheless combined a street photographer’s wry humor and eye for the decisive moment with the formal aesthetic of a modernist in his black and white photographs. Kertész celebrated the direct observation of the everyday, recording both his fascination with Parisian urban life and an overlapping feeling of alienation while meandering in the streets of New York. His late life Polaroids taken from within his apartment re-explored his concepts of life, love, and loss generated by his reaction to the hand-held camera itself.

Born Kertész Andor in Budapest, Hungary in 1894, he started his photographic career during his late teens. Seeking to fulfill his dreams he moved to Paris in 1925, where he established himself as a successful photojournalist, working alongside major figures such as Fernand Léger, Piet Mondrian and Constantin Brancusi. Kertész relocated to New York in 1936 to further his career, but it wasn’t until the 1970s that he became once more a major figure in the fine art photography world. By the time he passed away in 1985, had been honored with numerous awards and solo exhibitions worldwide. Since 2003, Kertész’s work was the object of seven shows at the Bruce Silverstein Gallery.

Beginning in the 1920s, Kertész’s work would go on to be shown in numerous exhibitions such as the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, London; International Center for Photography, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago; Bibliothèque National, Paris; Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest; Musée National d’Art Moderne du Centre George Pompidou, Paris; The Getty Center, Los Angeles; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.

Permanent collections which hold works by the artist include the Art Institute of Chicago; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburg; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; George Eastman House, Rochester; Getty Center, Los Angeles; International Center for Photography, New York; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Spain; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Fine Arts Houston; Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; National Museum of Modern Art Tokyo, Japan; and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

Kertész has more than twenty books published in his name, amongst them On Reading (2008), André Kertész: His Life and Work (1994), Kertész on Kertész: A Self-Portraits (1985), Washington Square (1975) and J’aime Paris: Photographs Since the Twenties (1974).

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