Museum Home Past Exhibitions Photographers of Genius at the Getty

March 16–July 25, 2004 at the Getty Center

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Kertész - Called himself a "naturalist surrealist."
Audio: Curator Weston Naef remembers Kertész describing how he took this photograph.

André Kertész was a self-taught amateur, making his first photograph in 1912 and pursuing the activity when he was not clerking at the Budapest stock exchange. Drafted into the Austro-Hungarian army in 1914, he was wounded in Poland two years later. The battlefield injury left his right arm partially paralyzed, but he continued with his photography. Admired by painters and writers, Kertész called himself a "naturalist surrealist."

Kertész was among many photographers working in the first half of the 20th century who sought to banish recognizable forms from their photographs, or manipulate the factual record to nonobjective ends. Because every photograph, even an abstract one, is the actual imprint of nature harnessed by light, such photographs invite viewers to contemplate ideas of perception and meaning.

View a brief biography and other works by this artist in the Getty online collections.

Related Bookstore item:
In Focus: André Kertész
Clock of the Académie Française / Kertész