ANDRÉ KERTÉSZ (1894-1985)
ANDRÉ KERTÉSZ (1894-1985)
ANDRÉ KERTÉSZ (1894-1985)
ANDRÉ KERTÉSZ (1894-1985)
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On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial int… Read more Visionary: The Paul G. Allen Collection
ANDRÉ KERTÉSZ (1894-1985)

Cello Study, 1926

ANDRÉ KERTÉSZ (1894-1985)
Cello Study, 1926
gelatin silver print, mounted on board
signed 'A. Kertész' in pencil (lower center mount, recto); signed 'Andre Kertész', annotated and dated '5 rue de Vanves / Paris 14e / 1927' in ink and pencil (top center on the reverse of the mount); credited and titled on affixed label (frame backing board)
image/sheet: 8 1/8 x 1 5/8 in. (20.6 x 4.1 cm.)
mount: 12 1/4 x 7 in. (31.1 x 17.7 cm.)
The artist.
Private collection, New Jersey (acquired from the above, by agent).
With Vivan Horan Fine Arts, New York.
Private collection, New York (acquired from the above).
With Vivan Horan Fine Arts, New York.
Private collection (acquired from the above); sale, Christie’s, New York, 5 April 2000, lot 214.
Acquired at the above sale by the late owner.
A. Kertész and N. Ducrot, André Kertész: Sixty Years of Photography, New York, 1978, p. 120.
S. Phillips, André Kertész: of Paris and New York, Chicago, 1985, cat. no. 19, p. 138.
P. Borhan, André Kertész: His Life and Work, Boston, 1994, p. 23.
Paris, Salon d'Escalier 1928;
Brussels, Galerie L'Epoque 1928;
Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago; New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, André Kertész: Of Paris and New York, May 10- February 23, 1986.
Special notice
On occasion, Christie's has a direct financial interest in the outcome of the sale of certain lots consigned for sale. This will usually be where it has guaranteed to the Seller that whatever the outcome of the auction, the Seller will receive a minimum sale price for the work. This is known as a minimum price guarantee. This is such a lot.

Brought to you by

Max Carter
Max Carter Vice Chairman, 20th and 21st Century Art, Americas

Lot Essay

Kertész emigrated to Paris in the fall of 1925, landing in the neighborhood of Montparnasse, the hothouse of artists and creativity. He was inspired and influenced by the Avant Garde movements in Paris at the time including Dadaism, Constructivism, Cubism, and Surrealism, as well as through his friendships with Piet Mondrian, Ferdinand Léger, Marc Chagall and Collette, to name a few. Kertész’s acceptance into these creative circles allowed for intimate conversations and collaborations, not the least of which were his access to the inner sanctum of artist’s studios.

Throughout the mid 1920’s, Kertész focused on geometry, abstraction and the beauty found in vernacular objects. The print offered here is Cello Study, 1926. It is a closely cropped image of the strings on the cello of his friend, Feri Roth. Made at the same time as its companion piece, Quartet, 1926, for a series of publicity photographs, this picture stands out as emblematic of the play with abstraction and fascination with geometry that characterized the work of the artists within Kertesz’ circle of friends.
In this photograph, an image of a cello is cropped down to just the vertical elements of the strings intersected by the bow. With the focus on verticality, and by cropping out the full body of either the cello or the cellist, Kertesz offers up an abstraction to inspire the imagination. His extreme cropping magnifies the geometric qualities of the cello in an highly abstract manner, and also builds upon the semiotic meaning when the two images are paired side by side.

In the coming months and years, Kertész would continue blurring the lines between abstraction and representation with other well-known photographic works such as Telephone Wires, 1927 and Fork, 1928. He focused his lens on common everyday objects taken from new perspectives, either from above or at skewed diagonal angles along a fragmented axis of representation.

This beautiful vintage print is one of only three or four made by the photographer from the negative in 1926 while living in Paris on 5 rue de Vanves. It was originally exhibited in Paris at the Salon de l’Escalier in 1928; at the Galerie L’Epoque, Brussels, 1928; at the Art Institute of Chicago; New York and The Metropolitan Museum of Art as part of André Kertész: Of Paris and New York, May 10- February 23, 1986.

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