André Kertész - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 12, 2022 | Phillips

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  • "Technique isn’t important. Technique is in the blood. Events and mood are more important than good light and the happening is what is important."
    —André Kertész

    In 1925 André Kertész moved from his childhood home in Hungary to the modern metropolis of Paris.  Adept with a camera but speaking little French, Kertész lived within a community of expatriate Hungarians while exploring the city of light with his camera. He picked up commercial assignments and made personal images when he was able. Kertész’s status as an outsider during his Paris years is mirrored in this image, in which the foremost figure is isolated against a less distinct, but still readable, Paris street. The photograph perfectly demonstrates the quality of work that Kertész created in Paris. His great talent was in creating a visual poetry of remarkable subtlety out of alienation, and coaxing a unique aesthetic order out of a disorderly world.

    The photographs in this sale offered as lots 168 through 186 come from the collection of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art and are being sold to benefit acquisition funds.  Photography has been a focus of the museum since its founding in 1961 when Dorothea Lange approached the museum about acquiring her portraits of Western painter Charles Russell. Director Mitchell A. Wilder readily made the acquisition, initiating an active engagement with photography and photographers that continues today. In its history, the museum has pursued ambitious exhibition and publication programs, including Marnie Sandweiss’s groundbreaking Photography in Nineteenth Century America (1991) and John Rohrbach’s definitive Color: American Photography Transformed (2013). It was the Amon Carter Museum that commissioned Richard Avedon to produce the series of portraits exhibited and published in 1985 as In the American West.

    Driven by a succession of dynamic photography curators, the Amon Carter early-on established a robust photography acquisition program, collecting singular masterworks as well as entire archives. The collection now encompasses more than 45,000 exhibition-quality photographs ranging from one of the first photographs created in the United States to works made as recently as this year. It also includes eight artist archives – including those of Laura Gilpin, Carlotta Corpron, Eliot Porter, and Karl Struss – that allow scholars opportunities to delve deeply into the working methods of these seminal photographers.

    • Provenance

      Collection of Steven Leiber, San Francisco
      Private Collection, New York
      Phillips de Pury & Company New York, 4 April 2012, lot 5
      Private Collection, Texas
      Collection of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art, Fort Worth, Texas

    • Literature

      Quasha, Paris in the Twenties and Thirties, frontispiece

Property of the Amon Carter Museum of American Art sold to Benefit Acquisition Funds


Untitled, Paris

Gelatin silver print.
9 3/8 x 7 in. (23.8 x 17.8 cm)
'32 bis, rue du Cotentin, Paris XV' copyright stamp (Phillips Paris stamp 4), A. B. C. Press Service stamp, and credited in an unidentified hand in pencil on the verso.

Full Cataloguing

$25,000 - 35,000 

Contact Specialist

Sarah Krueger
Head of Department, Photographs, New York

Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head of Photographs and Deputy Chairwoman, Americas


New York Auction 12 October 2022