Friday, February 11, 2011

Moments of being: Andre Kertesz at the DIA

(originally published 3/11/11 in KnightBlog)

If you haven’t been to the Detroit Institute of Arts’ photography gallery lately, stop by and check out the current show, An Intuitive Eye: André Kertész Photographs 1914-1969. This generous exhibition of elegant black and white images traces the influential modernist’s career from Hungary, where it began, to Paris in 1925 and New York in 1936. The work from each period is distinct, but consistently displays an extraordinary sensitivity to shadow, light and geometry, a sensitivity that DIA associate curator Nancy Barr describes as “unique in [Kertész’s] time.”

As one of the first street photographers, Kertész captured spontaneous moments of urban activity while emphasizing the lines, shapes, planes and textures that such moments consist of (visually, anyway). The show features many of these remarkable, candid shots, but also draws attention to his still life and portrait work, which is no less riveting.

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