Exhibition: Stephen Bulger Gallery - ANDRÉ KERTÉSZ - Self-portraits
TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2012 /CNW/ -
Exhibition Dates: October 27 - November 24, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 27, 2-5pm
Conversation in the Gallery: Saturday, October 27, 2:30pm. A conversation between Robert Gurbo, Curator of the Estate of André Kertész, and Stephen Bulger.
This PREMIER exhibition of André Kertész's "Self-portraits" marks the 100th anniversary of the artist's first photograph and spans over eight decades of his extensive career.
Selected from a collection of over 1,000 self-portraits, these images offer a glimpse into the psyche of one of photography's early masters. In 1912, Kertész received a small format glass plate camera from his mother as a high school graduation present. He and his younger brother Jeno delved into the medium by taking photographs of each other, family, friends and street scenes in Budapest.
While in the Austro-Hungarian army, Kertész frequently took self-portraits where he posed in conversation with his fellow subjects. A skillful participant and observer, we often find him off to the side, actively watching the photograph being taken. After returning home, he used photography in an attempt to define himself. He presented himself in a variety of occupations: an artist, a country bumpkin, a successful business man, a beekeeper and even in drag.
In 1925, upon the insistence of his girlfriend Elizabeth, whom he would later marry, Kertész moved to Paris to become a photographer. Although lonely, poor and wracked with self-doubt, Kertész made great efforts to convince his family otherwise by sending home self-portraits depicting him as settled and successful.
In 1936, Kertész moved to New York City where he struggled professionally and personally for decades. Here his self-portraiture became bifurcated; while many images illustrate his despondent nature, others present a more upbeat attitude representing his hopes and aspirations. During this time he also began to make projected self-portraits; photographs of inanimate objects, buildings and people that he said reflected his state of mind and which he insisted were self-portraits. Lost Cloud, 1937, and Melancholic Tulip, 1939, are some of the better known photographs that he defined as such. Looking at his entire oeuvre with this notion in mind reveals a wealth of images that, while not strictly self-portraits, obviously represent self reflection and take on deeper meaning.
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