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Exhibition & Conversation: André Kertész at Stephen Bulger Gallery

Posted By Administration, Monday, October 22, 2012
Updated: Friday, January 3, 2014

Self Portraits

Exhibition Dates: October 27 – November 24, 2012
Opening Reception: Saturday, October 27, 2-5pm

Conversation in the Gallery:
Curator of the Estate of André Kertész & Stephen Bulger
Saturday, October 27

Spanning over eight decades of the Hungarian-born photographer's career and marking the 100-year anniversary since the artist's first photograph the Self Portraits exhibition of André Kertész work at the Stephen Bulger Gallery reveals much about the psyche of the man behind the lens.

Kertész received his first camera as a high school graduation present from his mother. Fascinated with the device from the beginning, Kertész first turned his eye on familiar subjects- his family and friends, but also himself. This began what would become a major movement, theme, even self exploration for the artist throughout his career and life. Kertész's built a spring loaded device to allow him to take self-portraits and even claimed to have built the world's first self-timer.

While in the army durring World War I Kertész received a ICA Bebe camera, which had a magazine of seven plates that allowed him to work in the field with greater ease. There Kertész continued to photograph himself alone and with fellow soldiers. We see him begin to negotiate as both photographer and participant. At times he turns towards us, at times he engages his surroundings and friends. These images seemed to inspire an awareness of self and self perception. After returning home from war, when feeling lost and even mildly depressed, he made images of himself in different persona- as a businessman, a scholar, an artist, a country bumpkin, a beekeeper, and eventually as a woman in drag. Where these images could at times be playful and exploratory later pieces revealed the self without the presence of a figure. As we trace Kertész's work to the USA we find him making projected self-portraits: Lost Cloud from 1937 and Melancholic Tulip from 1939 exemplify the series. Full of sentiment, mood, and a raw emotion these works become metaphoric. With a careful eye and a dedication of time we can perhaps claim to dig to the deepest corners of the mind of this early photographic master.

Accompanying Gallery exhibition will be a conversation between Robert Gurbo, Curator of the Estate of André Kertész, and Stephen Bulger. The autobiographical imprint of his work be explored in the discussion and in a forthcoming essay by Mr. Gurbo. The essay will be featured in an upcoming publication about the self portraits of André Kertész.

For more information on the exhibition, please visit Stephen Bulger Gallery

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