The Lost Cloud, New York
Enlarge Zoom in
© Estate of André Kertész

André Kertész
American, New York City, 1937
Gelatin silver print
9 3/4 x 6 1/2 in.

Add to Getty Bookmarks

The impenetrable façade of Rockefeller Center in New York dominates the frame of this photograph, filling the lower and right sides of the image with its cold, hard, modern lines. The other third of the composition belongs to the sky, in which a lone puff of white cloud hangs isolated like a cotton ball, holding sway against the force of the skyscraper. The brilliant white form is "lost" in this scene that is otherwise devoid of natural, spirited shapes. The cloud possesses an innate impermanence; it will be gone with the next gust of wind, blown along on its path to some other expanse of sky. Andre Kertész's juxtaposition of the whimsical cloud and unforgiving architecture seems to emphasize his own sense of isolation; the photograph was made soon after he had emigrated from Europe.