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HomeContents > People > Photographers > André Kertész

Dates:  1894, 2 July - 1985, 27 September
Born:  Austria-Hungary, Budapest [now Hungary]
Active:  US
 
  
American photographer born in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Preparing biographies


Biography provided by Focal Press 
  
By the late 1910s, Kertész was demonstrating the visual language of modernism with asymmetrical compositions, close-ups, distortions, reflections, and unusual points of view. He came to use a Leica to geometrically order the unexpected moments of everyday life with a life-affirming sensibility that favored a play between pattern and deep space. He made his living as a European photojournalist before immigrating to the United States. Kertész’ joyous "Leica spirit," the new small camera mentality, combined the formal design elements of De Stijl with a natural intuition to extract poetic "rest-stops" from the flow of time that alter expectations about common occurrences and objects. His spontaneous vision revealed a sweet, lyrical truth, celebrating the splendor of life and the pleasure of sight. Inspired Brassaď, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Robert Capa. 
  
(Author: Robert Hirsch - Independent scholar and writer) 
  
Michael Peres (Editor-in-Chief), 2007, Focal Encyclopedia of Photography, 4th edition, (Focal Press) [ISBN-10: 0240807405, ISBN-13: 978-0240807409] 
(Used with permission) 
  

Further research

 
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Bill Jay
Andre Kertesz 
[Photographers] 
n.d.
 
  
Family history 
  
If you are related to this photographer and interested in tracking down your extended family we can place a note here for you to help. It is free and you would be amazed who gets in touch. 
  
alan@luminous-lint.com
 
  
 
  

Visual indexes

 
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Internet biographies

Terms and Conditions

 
Wikipedia has a biography of this photographer.Show on this siteGo to website
Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website
Grove Art Online (www.groveart.com) has a biography of this artist. 
[NOTE: This is a subscription service and you will need to pay an annual fee to access the content.]
Show on this siteGo to website
The Cleveland Museum of Art, USA has a biography on this photographer. [Scroll down the page on this website as the biography may not be immediately visible.]Show on this siteGo to website
The International Photographers Hall of Fame has provided a biography.Show on this siteGo to website
 

Internet resources

Terms and Conditions

 
Andre Kertesz 
http://www.pbs.org ... 
This is part of the excellent American Masters series of television programs broadcast by PBS in the USA. 
  
 

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

 
• Auer, Michele & Michel 1985 Encyclopedie Internationale Des Photographes de 1839 a Nos Jours / Photographers Encylopaedia International 1839 to the present (Hermance, Editions Camera Obscura) 2 volumes [A classic reference work for biographical information on photographers.] 
  
• Beaton, Cecil & Buckland, Gail 1975 The Magic Eye: The Genius of Photography from 1839 to the Present Day (Boston and Toronto: Little, Brown & Company) p.146 [Useful short biographies with personal asides and one or more example images.] 
  
• Capa, Cornell (ed.) 1984 The International Center of Photography: Encyclopedia of Photography (New York, Crown Publishers, Inc. - A Pound Press Book) p.280 
  
• Coke, Van Deren with Diana C. Du Pont 1986 Photography: A Facet of Modernism (New York: Hudson Hills Press, The San Francisco Museum of Art) p.175 
  
• Evans, Martin Marix (Executive ed.) 1995 Contemporary Photographers [Third Edition] (St. James Press - An International Thomson Publishing Company) [Expensive reference work but highly informative.] 
  
• Fernandez, Horacio (ed.) 2000 Fotografía Pública: Photography in Print 1919-1939 (Aldeasa) p.138-141 [This Spanish exhibition catalogue is one of the best sources for illustrations of photomontage and book design for the period between the two World Wars.] 
  
• International Center of Photography 1999 Reflections in a Glass Eye: Works from the International Center of Photography Collection (New York: A Bulfinch Press Book) p.219-220 [Includes a well written short biography on André Kertész with example plate(s) earlier in book.] 
  
• Lenman, Robin (ed.) 2005 The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (Oxford: Oxford University Press)  [Includes a short biography on André Kertész.] 
  
• Weaver, Mike (ed.) 1989 The Art of Photography 1839-1989 (New Haven and London: Yale University Press) p.459 [This exhibition catalogue is for the travelling exhibition that went to Houston, Canberra and London in 1989.] 
  
• Witkin, Lee D. and Barbara London 1979 The Photograph Collector’s Guide (London: Secker and Warburg) p.173-174 [Long out of print but an essential reference work - the good news is that a new edition is in preparation.] 
  
 

Useful printed stuff

If there is an analysis of a single photograph or a useful self portrait I will highlight it here.

 
• Gruber, Renate and L. Fritz Gruber 1982 The Imaginary Photo Museum (New York: Harmony Books) p.251-252 
  
• Koetzle, Hans-Michael 2002 Photo Icons: The Story Behind the Pictures - Volume 2 (Koln: Taschen) [This book discusses one photograph "Meudon (1928)" by André Kertész in considerable detail. An excellent source for a detailed analysis.] 
  
• Naef, Weston 1995 The J. Paul Getty Museum - Handbook of the Photographic Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum) p.175, 175, 194, 197, 200 
  
• Naef, Weston 2004 Photographers of Genius at the Getty (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum) [For this photographer there is a description and three sample photographs from the Getty collection. p.104-107] 
  
• Newhall, Beaumont 1982 The History of Photography - Fifth Edition (London: Secker & Warburg) [One or more photographs by André Kertész are included in this classic history.] 
  
• Szarkowski, John 1973 Looking at Photographs: 100 Pictures from the Collection of The Museum of Modern Art (New York: The Museum of Modern Art) p.92 [Analyzes a single photograph by André Kertész.] 
  

Collections

Photographic collections are a useful means of examining large numbers of photographs by a single photographer on-line. 
  

 
In the 1990 survey of 535 American photographic collections André Kertész was represented in 88 of the collections. Source: Andrew H. Eskind & Greg Drake (eds.) 1990 Index to American Photographic Collections [Second Enlarged Edition] (Boston, Massachusetts: G.K. Hall & Co.) 
  
 

Quotations

The wit and wisdom.

 
"Everything is a subject. Every subject has a rhythm. To feel it is the raison d‘ętre. The photograph is a fixed moment of such a raison d‘ętre, which lives on in itself."
"The camera is my tool. Through it I give a reason to everything around me."
"The moment always dictates in my work. What I feel, I do. This is the most important thing for me, Everybody can look, but they don‘t necessarily see. I never calculate or consider; I see a situation and I know that it‘s right, even if I have to go back to get the proper lighting."
 
  
 
  
 
  
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