Andre Kertesz Untitled, September 1, 1919 (Trees and Garden)
Medium Silver print
Photo Date 1919 Print Date 1919
Dimensions 2-1/4 x 1-1/2 in. (57 x 38 mm)
Photo Country Hungary
Photographer Country Hungary
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Dated September 1, 1919 on verso in artist's hand. There are only two known vintage prints of this image. It is a contact print from the period.
According to Robert Gurbo: "this print, along with a number of others had rested in an unassuming corner of André's apartment for many years in stacks of small negative boxes that had once held his 4 x 5 glass plates from the 1920s and '30s. These prints and negatives form the core of one of the great photographic archives of the 20th century. And like so many other important works of art, they did not emerge unscathed from the two world wars. Many photographs that André created while he was a soldier during World War I did not survive--André claimed that they had disappeared or were destroyed while he was separated from his company after being wounded and after his fellow soldiers had later been captured. Fortunately much of the material was safely back home. These and others of André's artworks also barely survived World War II. When André and Elizabeth left Paris for America in 1936, he left many negatives and prints behind with a journalist and colleague, Jacqueline Paouillac. Acting as his agent, she was to continue to make André's material available to the European market. During the war he lost touch with Paouillac. Evading the authorities, she had daringly left German-occupied Paris, surreptitiously transporting André's precious photographic cargo to a farm in La Réunion, a small village in the south of France. Many of the works she had with her were created by André in Paris, as well as in Hungary. Some of the Parisian images, notably his experimental series of distorted nudes, would have been considered "Entartete Kunst" (degenerate art) by the Germans and discovery could easily have led to Paouillac's arrest and execution along with the destruction of all of Kertész's material. Paouillac buried André's treasure in a makeshift bomb shelter, situated in a ditch between two buildings. It was not recovered until 1963, when Paouillac read an announcement in a newspaper of André's Parisian exhibition at the Bibliothéque Nationale and contacted him. The artwork was still in the ground when André arrived. He was ecstatic and documented the unearthing and examination of the photographs and glass negatives in a highly personal series of images that were not published during his lifetime." See: Andre Kertesz: The Early Years, p.6. Provenance: Estate of photographer.
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