The fall season of Camera opens with a great retrospective of André Kertész. L’opera 1912-1982, one of the absolute masters of 20th century photography. The exhibition is organized in collaboration with the Médiathèque du patrimoine et de la photographie (MPP) in Paris. The MPP houses more than one hundred thousand negatives and all of Kertész’s archives, which he donated to France in 1984. Over 150 images cover the career of the photographer, who was born in Budapest in 1894, came to France in 1925, and moved to the United States in 1936, where he died in 1985.
The exhibition follows the author’s biography, from the first amateur photographs taken in Hungary and during the First World War, to his famous icons shot in Paris, the cultural capital of the 1920s and 1930s. It also shows the masterpieces created in the studio of the painter Piet Mondrian, the street scenes and finally the “distortions” that made him a leading figure even on the Surrealist scene. The exhibition then presents an original view of the long second part of his life, spent across the ocean in a deeply different cultural context. The images from these years in fact show how Kertész continues his research by retracing the same themes, while highlighting the effect that new architecture, new lifestyles, and new cityscapes have on his photography.
The exhibition, curated by Matthieu Rivallin – head of the photography department at the MPP and a great Kertész expert – and Walter Guadagnini – artistic director of CAMERA – also celebrates the 60th anniversary of the photographer’s participation in the Venice Biennale. In fact, the exhibition is based on his handwritten list of works exhibited on that occasion. The list, found in the MPP archives, is an additional curiosity that links the great master to our country.