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André Kertész: Postcards from Paris

February 1, 2022 | Gregory Harris

On view through May 29

In 1925, photographer André Kertész (American, born Hungary, 1894–1985) arrived in Paris with little more than a camera and meager savings. Over the next three years, he carved out a photographic practice that allowed him to move among the realms of amateur and professional, photojournalist and avant-garde artist, diarist and documentarian. By the end of 1928, he had achieved widespread recognition, emerging as a major figure in modern art. During this period, he chose to print most of his photographs on carte postale, or postcard paper; although this choice may have initially been born of economy, he turned the popular format toward artistic ends, rigorously composing images in the darkroom and making a new kind of photographic object.

Organized by the Art Institute of Chicago, Postcards from Paris is the first nationally touring exhibition to bring together Kertész’s rare carte postale prints. These now-iconic works offer new insight into the artist’s early experimental years and reveal the importance of Paris as a vibrant meeting ground where international avant-garde artists drew inspiration from each other to create new, modern ways of seeing and representing the world.

Exhibition catalogue available for purchase at the Museum Shop and at Members receive 10% off Shop purchases.

A flower in a white vase sits on a bench next to an open door into a hall with a curving staircase.

André Kertész (American, born Hungary, 1894–1985), Chez Mondrian, 1926, gelatin silver print, The Art Institute of Chicago, Julien Levy Collection, gift of Jean and Julien Levy, 1975.1136. © Estate of André Kertész 2021.

A woman in a short black dress reclines on a loveseat, her legs and arms twisted into a pose. A statue of a nude torso stands on a small table to the left of the loveseat in a similar pose.

André Kertész (American, born Hungary, 1894–1985), Satiric Dancer, 1927, Family Holdings of Nicholas and Susan Pritzker. © Estate of André Kertész 2021.

On-Site Talk: Elizabeth Siegel
Thursday, February 17, 7 p.m., Hill Auditorium
Learn about the High’s new exhibition André Kertész: Postcards from Paris from curator Elizabeth Siegel.

Free for members. Reservations are required. Visit or call 404-733-5000 to reserve tickets.

André Kertész: Postcards from Paris is organized by The Art Institute of Chicago.

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ACT Foundation, Inc.
Sarah and Jim Kennedy
Louise Sams and Jerome Grilhot
Dr. Joan H. Weens Estate
Harry Norman Realtors
wish Foundation

Robin and Hilton Howell

The Antinori Foundation
Corporate Environments
The Arthur R. and Ruth D. Lautz Charitable Foundation
Elizabeth and Chris Willett

Farideh and Al Azadi
Sandra and Dan Baldwin
Lucinda W. Bunnen
Marcia and John Donnell
Mrs. Peggy Foreman
Helen C. Griffith
Mrs. Fay S. Howell/The Howell Fund
Mr. and Mrs. Baxter Jones
Joel Knox and Joan Marmo
Dr. Joe B. Massey
Margot and Danny McCaul
The Ron and Lisa Brill Family Charitable Trust
Wade Rakes and Nicholas Miller
The Fred and Rita Richman Fund
In Memory of Elizabeth B. Stephens
USI Insurance Services
Mrs. Harriet H. Warren

Alfred and Adele Davis Exhibition Endowment Fund, Anne Cox Chambers Exhibition Fund, Barbara Stewart Exhibition Fund, Dorothy Smith Hopkins Exhibition Endowment Fund, Eleanor McDonald Storza Exhibition Endowment Fund, The Fay and Barrett Howell Exhibition Fund, Forward Arts Foundation Exhibition Endowment Fund, Helen S. Lanier Endowment Fund, Isobel Anne Fraser–Nancy Fraser Parker Exhibition Endowment Fund, John H. and Wilhelmina D. Harland Exhibition Endowment Fund, Katherine Murphy Riley Special Exhibition Endowment Fund, Margaretta Taylor Exhibition Fund, and the RJR Nabisco Exhibition Endowment Fund