The Museum of Avant-garde

André Kertész

Hungary (1894—1985)
Born in Hungary, Kertész grew up in the countryside and trained as stock broker clerk. He discovered photography portraiting landscapes and peasant life. In 1925 the magazine Érdekes Újság published two of his WWI pictures and this gave him the confidence to move to Paris to work as a freelance photographer, becoming a pioneer of photojournalism and photo essays. In Paris he was influenced by Modernism and Surrealism, from Mondrian and Eisenstein. In Paris he also met Halász (aka Brassaï), who spoke French and got into photography from Kertész. With the change in the political context, Kertesz moved to New York, where he continued to work as a photographer and collaborate with magazines such as Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue and other commissions, without speaking English. In 1962 he decided to retire to dedicate himself to personal projects. His work deeply reflected his idea of “photography as a product of insatiable curiosity and a precise sense of form”.