About this artwork
In 1925, André Kertész moved from his native Hungary to Paris, where he found a community of like-minded artists and writers. Among them was Piet Mondrian, the De Stijl painter who was becoming known for his geometric abstractions. Mondrian invited the young photographer to his studio in early 1926. As Kertész recalled years later:
"I went to his studio and instinctively tried to capture in my photographs the spirit of his paintings. He simplified, simplified, simplified. The studio with its symmetry dictated the composition. He had a vase with a flower, but the flower was artificial. It was colored by him with the right color to match the studio."
Although Mondrian imposed rigid geometric order on everything in the apartment, Kertész found deviations in the curves of the staircase, vase, and the round boater hat hanging on the rack. (The hat belonged to the photographer’s friend Michel Seuphor, a painter and writer who authored a book on Mondrian, who had accompanied Kertész to the studio.) This photograph has become one of Kertész’s most famous, although it was not published until 1943. It was known previously only through exhibitions, including Kertész’s first exhibition in 1927 at the Parisian gallery Au Sacre du Printemps.
Currently Off View
- André Kertész
- Chez Mondrian
- United States
- Made 1926
- Gelatin silver print
- Inscribed recto, on mount, lower left, below image, in graphite: "A. Kertész"; recto, on mount, lower right, below image, in graphite: "Paris"; verso unchecked
- 10.8 × 7.9 cm (image/paper); 37.2 × 27.4 cm (mount)
- Julien Levy Collection, Gift of Jean and Julien Levy