André Kertész, From his Window
Following his move in 1952 to a 12th story apartment overlooking Washington Square Park, the 56-year-old Hungarian emigrant André Kertész would begin a series of modernist masterworks shot from his window that he would continue until his death in 1985.
From the privacy of his home, Kertész honed his lens on anonymous city dwellers, capturing fragments of passersby on the streets below or reveling in the park, in an attempt to engage with his newfound community. Many of the photographs made by Kertész during this period expressed a voyeuristic quality that reflected the artist’s sense of isolation in his adopted homeland.
Later in life, following the loss of his beloved wife Elizabeth, Kertész found himself in the same surroundings, amongst all their collective memories, voraciously experimenting with a Polaroid camera as a means of working through his overwhelming grief.
Born Kertész Andor in Budapest, Hungary in 1894, he started his photographic career during his late teens. Seeking to fulfill his dreams he moved to Paris in 1925, where he established himself as a successful photojournalist, working alongside modernist luminaries such as Fernand Léger, Piet Mondrian and Constantin Brancusi.
Kertész left Europe in 1936 relocating to New York where he began freelancing for several publications including Collier’s, Harper’s Bazaar, and House & Garden, among others. It wasn’t until the 1970s that he would again become a major figure in the world of fine art photography. By the time he passed away in 1985, the beloved artist had been honored with numerous awards and solo exhibitions worldwide.