André Kertész - Photographs New York Tuesday, October 1, 2019 | Phillips
  • Provenance

    Estate of André Kertész
    Stephen Bulger Gallery, Toronto

  • Literature

    Borhan, André Kertész: His Life and Work, p. 240

  • Catalogue Essay

    The ten photographs offered here were originally submitted by André Kertész with his 1973 application for the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. These images all date from the late 1930s and were taken shortly after his 1936 arrival in New York from Paris. Although neglected at the time of their making, Kertész’s early New York images show him absorbing his new surroundings and performing the photographic alchemy that was uniquely his.

    By 1973, Kertész had retired from commercial work and was slowly beginning to achieve the broader recognition for his photography that had eluded him since he left Paris. He was encouraged by his friend Brendan Gill, the New Yorker magazine writer, to apply for the Guggenheim Fellowship, which would provide needed funds to continue his work. In addition to Gill, Kertész’s application listed an impressive roster of references: MoMA photography curator John Szarkowski; New York Times art critic Hilton Kramer; and editor and publisher Nicolas Ducrot.

    In Kertész’s application statement he wrote that one use of Fellowship funds would be ‘to complete the printing of my negatives on N. Y. C., since 1936.’ The selection of images that Kertész sent with his application—scenes of the city’s street life, images of children at play, and the ever bustling sidewalks of his new home—clearly demonstrated to the Guggenheim Foundation that this work deserved further attention. On the strength of the images in this lot, and the recommendations of his references, Kertész was awarded the sum of $15,000 in 1974.

World View: Property from a Private Collection


The 1974 André Kertész Guggenheim Set

A unique set of ten gelatin silver prints.
Each approximately 3 1/2 x 4 1/2 in. (8.9 x 11.4 cm) or the reverse.
A suite of ten photographs, one signed in pencil, '67 West 44th St' (Phillips #2) and credit (Phillips #4) stamps on two different prints, and occasional notations by the artist and others in pencil, all on the versos; each matted, the mats bound within a presentation volume. Folio, gilt-lettered leather-backed boards, a printed chapter on André Kertész excerpted from Brendan Gill's A New York Life inserted in the rear pastedown; all housed in a custom clamshell box with black lettered spine.

$40,000 - 60,000 

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New York Auction 1 October 2019