• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 7584


    15 May 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 10

    ANDRÉ KERTÉSZ (1894-1985)

    Child kicking ball, c.1930

    Price Realised  


    ANDRÉ KERTÉSZ (1894-1985)
    Child kicking ball, c.1930
    unique gelatin silver print
    9¾ x 7in. (23.8 x 17.9cm.)

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    This is the only known print, made in Kertész's lifetime, of this image. It is not recorded in Phillips, Photographic Work of Kertész in France, CUNY, 1985.

    In 1928 Kertész began using a Leica which altered the way he approached various subjects. No longer hindered by the slow pace of using sheet film or glass plates, Kertész was able to react quickly to the photo opportunities of fast-paced urban street life. As Greenough observes: 'by matching the speed and nimbleness of the Leica with his newfound desire to "catch life in the act," he could place increasing emphasis on capturing a fortuitous moment of time....when the obvious and mundane was transformed into the mysterious, enigmatic, or provocative.' (André Kertész, p.75)

    While the present image carries a casual, snapshot feel of street photography, Kertész was known to be thrifty with his shooting, often waiting patiently for the image to take shape before snapping the shutter. Once in the darkroom, Kertész further achieved his vision by way of carefully cropping the final print, in this case, eliminating almost half of the image at left. In the resulting composition, with strong verticals and diagonals connected at the central axis point of the boy's football, an ordinary moment of Paris street life has been transformed into the photographic sublime.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    As lot 1.

    Pre-Lot Text


    Have confidence in the inventions and transformations of chance.

    KERTÉSZ, 1930


    Borhan (ed.), André Kertész: His Life and Work, Little, Brown & Co., 1994, p.186, reference print showing full frame, titled 'Children Playing' (fig.1).