Following his move in 1952 to a 12th story apartment overlooking Washington Square Park, the 56-year-old Hungarian emigrant André Kertész would begin a series of modernist masterworks shot from his window that he would continue until his death in 1985. From the privacy of his home, Kertész honed his lens on anonymous city dwellers, capturing fragments of passersby on the streets below or reveling in the park, in an attempt to engage with his newfound community. Many of the photographs made by Kertész during this period expressed a voyeuristic quality that reflected the artist’s sense of isolation in his adopted homeland. Later in life, following the loss of his beloved wife Elizabeth, Kertész found himself in the same surroundings, amongst all their collective memories, voraciously experimenting with a Polaroid camera as a means of working through his overwhelming grief.
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 modernist luminaries such as Fernand Léger, Piet Mondrian and Constantin Brancusi. Kertész left Europe in 1936 relocating to New York where he began freelancing for several publications including Collier's, Harper's Bazaar, and House & Garden, among others. It wasn’t until the 1970s that he would again become a major figure in the world of fine art photography. By the time he passed away in 1985, the beloved artist had been honored with numerous awards and solo exhibitions worldwide. Since 2003, Kertész’s work has been the subject of seven shows at the Bruce Silverstein Gallery.
Beginning in the 1920s, Kertész’s work has been highlighted in countless exhibitions worldwide at such esteemed institutions 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 with significant holdings of work 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.