André Kertész (American/Hungarian, 1985)

André Kertész (American/Hungarian, 1894–1985) was born in July of 1894, and stands as one of the most influential photographers of the 20th century. Drafted in 1914 into the Austrio-Hungarian army in World War I, Kertész brought along his newly purchased camera, and the resulting images proved to be the beginning of Kertész’s long and fruitful career. Unlike many of the photographs taken during the war, Kertész focused on the lives of the soldiers rather than the war being raged. Capturing these soldiers’ moments of jubilation and sorrow on a personal level was a unique way to use a hand-held camera, rarely realized before.

After the war, Kertész moved to Paris in 1925, a move that would alter the course of his photographic career. He quickly met and became friends with Alexander Calder, Constantin Brancusi, Marc Chagall, and Piet Mondrian, and was inspired by the artistic environment surrounding him. Kertész photographed the beautiful streets of Paris, and put on his first show at an avant-garde gallery. He managed to capture both the serious and the humor in almost every photograph, juxtaposing people with the deep shadows and beauty of the Parisian streets. Kertész seemed to notice and highlight the small, insignificant details that would normally escape the average eye, making him immensely popular.

In 1936, Kertész moved across the Atlantic to New York to further his career as a photographer. He found success in the unlimited stark visual experience that New York provided, photographing both the sense of awe and amazement, while still conveying a sense of alienation and isolation that one encountered in the city. With the onset of World War II, he was unable to return to Paris and was treated as an enemy of the government, making him unable to publish anything for years. His career went relatively unnoticed until 1964, when the curator at The Museum of Modern Art, John Szarkowski, organized a solo show of his work. Kertész profoundly changed the photographic medium by witnessing and participating in the beginnings of the hand-held camera, and using it to photograph his subjects with subtlety and humor. He died in 1985 at the age of 91 in New York.


Born in Budapest, Hungary
Bought his first camera while working as a clerk at the Budapest Stock Exchange
Moved to Paris
Published three books of his own photographs
Immigrated to United States and settled in New York
Awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship
Died in New York, NY


Discoveries, Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York, NY
Re-Collection: Works from the collection of the Colorado Photographic Arts Center, Denver Public Library, Denver, CO
CITY VIEWS: André Kertész, Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York, NY
Twilight Visions: Surrealism, Photography and Paris, Frist Center for the Visual Arts, Nashville, TN
André Kertész: On Reading, The Photographers' Gallery, London, UK
André Kertész: In the Depths of Winter, Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York, NY
André Kertész: Seven Decades, The Getty Center, Los Angeles, CA
The Polaroids, Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York, NY
The Early Years, Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York, NY
André Kertész, National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
André Kertész, Jackson Fine Art, Atlanta, GA
André Kertész: The New York Period 1936 - 1985, Bruce Silverstein Gallery, New York, NY
André Kertész: Of Paris and New York, Chicago Institute of Art, Chicago, IL
Printemps, Tokyo, Japan
André Kertész, Master of Photography, Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA
Is Beauty the Making One of Opposites?-Photography, Terrain Gallery, New York, NY
André Kertész, Serpentine Gallery, London, UK
André Kertész, The Silver Image Gallery, Seattle, WA
André Kertész, Musée National d'Art Moderne du Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Valokuvamuseon, Helsinki, Finland
Hungarian National Gallery, Budapest, Hungary
Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
All Art Is For Life & Against the War in Vietnam, Terrain Gallery, New York, NY
The Concerned Photographer, Riverside Museum, New York, NY; Tokyo, Japan
André Kertész, Photographer, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Modernage Photo Lab, New York, NY
André Kertész, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
Image of Freedom, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Photography 1839–1937, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
P M Gallery, New York, NY
Pioneers of Modern French Photography, Julien Levy Gallery, New York, NY
Exposition Internationale de la Photographie Contemporaine, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France
Galerie de la Pléiade, Paris, France
Leleu's Studio, Paris, France
Groupe Annuel des Photographes, Galerie de la Pléiade, Paris, France
Exposition de la société des artistes photographes, Studio Saint-Jacques, Paris, France
The Modern Spirit in Photography and Advertising, The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, London, UK
Deuxieme Exposition Internationale de la Photographie et Cinema, Brussels, Belgium
Groupe Annuel des Photographes, Galerie de la Pléiade, Paris, France
The Modern Spirit in Photography, The Royal Photographic Society of Great Britain, London, UK
Palais des Beaux-Arts, Internationale de la Photographie, Brussels, Belgium
Modern European Photography, Julien Levy Gallery, New York, NY
International Photographers, Brooklyn Museum, New York, NY
Modern Photography, Albright Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY
Museum Fokwang, Essen, Germany
Deuxieme Groupe de Photographes, d'Art Contemporain Gallery, Paris, France
Neue Sportbauten, Graphische Lehr-und Versuchsanstaldt, Vienna, Austria
An Exhibition of Foreign Photography, The Art Center, New York, NY
Das Lichtbild, Essen, Germany; Munich, Germany
Photographies d'aujourd'hui, d'Art Contemporain Gallery, Paris, France
Fotografie der Gegenwart, Essen, Germany
Der Intenational Ausstellung von Film and Foto, Stuttgart, Germany
III Salon International de Fotografie, Saragossa, Spain
XXIII Salon International de Fotografie, Paris, France
Premiere Salon Independant de la Photographie, Theatre des Champs-Elysees, Paris, France
Exposition de Photographie, Galerie L'Epoque, Brussels, Belgium
Internationale Foto-Salon, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Au Sacre du Printemps Gallery, Paris, France

Public Collections

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
The Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
The Museum of Contemporary Photography, Chicago, IL
Cincinnati Art Museum, Cincinnati, OH
Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Houston, TX
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Minneapolis, MN
MOCA Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA
George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, Rochester, NY
Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA
Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, NY
Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Australia
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Canada
Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, Canada
Winnipeg Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Canada
Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, Italy
National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, Japan
Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain
Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden
Kunsthaus Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland
Amherst Fine Arts Center, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY


Frizot, Michel and Annie-Laure Wanaverbecq. André Kertész. Paris: Editions, Hazan, 2010
Sallenave, Daniele. André Kertész (Photofile). London: Thames & Hudson, 2008
Gurbo, Robert. André Kertész: The Polaroids. New York: W.W. Norton, 2007
Gossage, John, Martin Parr and Sylvia Plachy. André Kertész: Observations, Thoughts, Reflections. Chicago: Stephen Daiter Gallery, 2005
Greenough, Sarah, Robert Gurbo and Sarah Kennel. André Kertész. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2005
Silverstein, Bruce. André Kertész: The Early Years. New York: W.W. Norton, 2005
Borhan, Pierre. André Kertész: His Life and Work. New York: Bulfinch Press, 2000
Corkin, Jane. André Kertész: A Lifetime of Perception. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1982