André Kertész

American, born Hungary (Budapest, Hungary, 1894 - 1985, New York City, New York)

Distortion No. 129

photograph | gelatin silver print
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    André Kertész, Distortion No. 129, 1932; gelatin silver print, 7 13/16 in. x 6 7/8 in. (19.84 cm x 17.46 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Fund of the '80s purchase; © Estate of André Kertész

This example of Kertész's photography exemplifies his interest in the formless nature of the unconscious and in the fetishized female body, both major surrealist concerns. His Distortion series consists of more than two hundred photographs of two models, a young Russian girl and a middle-aged former cabaret dancer. In the pictures, circus mirrors make a monstrous caricature of beauty; here, the women appear to be in turmoil, clinging to each other while strange forces pull them apart. The image seems to suggest emotional anxiety, reflecting both the artist's personal circumstances (he was in the midst of a divorce at the time) and the Surrealists' fascination with the subconscious.

7 13/16 in. x 6 7/8 in. (19.84 cm x 17.46 cm)
Acquired 1985
Collection SFMOMA
Fund of the '80s purchase
© Estate of André Kertész


distortions, human figures, women, nudes

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