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Satiric Dancer, Paris, 1926

A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.

Date:

1927

Artist:

André Kertész
American, born Hungary, 1894–1985

About this artwork

In 1915 André Kertész began submitting pictures to newspaper and exhibition competitions in his native Hungary. He arrived in Paris one decade later greatly attuned to the possibilities of photographs as both unique display objects and mass-media images. This gorgeously printed view of the dancer Magda Förstner posing in the Montparnasse studio of sculptor Etienne (István) Beöthy (who, like the photographer and dancer, was also a Hungarian émigré) is a variant of one published by the Berlin leisure magazine Die Dame in 1927 to illustrate a parable of marital infidelity. Clad in a short halter dress with a ruff around her neck, Förstner perches alluringly on a couch, her lower legs swiveled outward as if in imitation of a Charleston step. Beöthy was pursuing an abstracted figural language in sculpture, just as Kertész was in photography, and his statue Direct Action, which appears in a corner next to the sofa, serves as a foil for the latter’s camera work. Interestingly, the published photograph became an icon, and possibly gained its current title only in the 1960s, when Kertész recovered the negative and reprinted it multiple times. The Art Institute’s version, meanwhile, is believed to be unique.

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Photography and Media

Artist

André Kertész

Title

Satiric Dancer, Paris, 1926

Origin

United States

Date

Made 1926

Medium

Gelatin silver print

Dimensions

9 × 7.8 cm (3 1/2 × 3 1/16 in.)

Credit Line

Gift of Nicholas and Susan Pritzker

Reference Number

2009.646

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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