Artist: Andre Kertesz
Title: Untitled (Count Mihaly Karoli)
Medium: Vintage print
Size: 6.6 x 11.6 cm
Misc: In pencil on recto: A. Kertesz, Paris; in ink on verso: Carte Postale 1700681 A791/197
André Kertész (July 2, 1894 – September 28, 1985) born Andor Kertész, was a Hungarian-born photographer distinguished by his photographic composition and by his early efforts in developing the photo essay. In the early years of his lengthy career, his then-unorthodox camera angles, and his unwillingness to compromise his personal photographic style, prevented his work from gaining wider recognition. Even towards the end of his life, Kertész did not feel he had gained worldwide recognition. The first photographer to have an exposition devoted to his work, he is recognized as one of the seminal figures of photojournalism, if not photography as a whole.
Dedicated by his family to work as a stock broker, Kertész was an autodidact and his early work was mostly published in magazines. This would continue until much later in his life when he ceased to accept commissions. He served briefly in WWI and began to form dreams to move to Paris, which he realised in 1925, against the wishes of his family. There he was involved with the artistic melting pot of immigrates and the dadaist movement, and achieved critical and commercial success. The imminent threat of WWII pushed him to immigrate again to the United States, where he had a more difficult life and needed to rebuild his reputation through commissioned work. He would take offense with several editors that he felt did not recognize his work. In the 1940s and '50s he stopped working for magazines and began to achieve greater international success. Despite the numerous and awards he collected over the years, he still felt unrecognized, a sentiment which did not change even into his death. His career is general divided into four periods based on where his work was most prominent at these times. They are called the Hungarian period, the French period, the American period and, towards the end of his life, the International period.