Robert Gurbo On André Kertész: The Quintessential New Yorker

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City Lore

56 East 1st Street

New York, NY 10003

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This talk offers an intimate and unique perspective on photographer André Kertész by long-time curator Robert Gurbo.

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André Kertész (1894-1985) is an undisputed master of photography. Widely considered a forefather of photojournalism and street photography, he created much of the visual vocabulary of the medium that is still in use today. From his pioneering work in Hungary (1912 -1925), through his influential work during Paris’s artistic heyday (1925- 1936), right up to his final days in New York (1936 -1985), his photographs infuse personal narrative and design into a documentary style that was uniquely his own. Kertész’s body of work, which spans much of the 20th century, includes deceptively simple images of everyday life that reflect his state of mind and his questions about his very existence and his relationship to the world around him.

Long-time curator Robert Gurbo worked with Kertész during the last seven years of the photographer’s life, and has spent the last forty years combing through Kertész’s archive. Gurbo is co-author of the catalog that accompanied the 2005 National Gallery exhibit, André Kertész, published by Princeton University Press, and is editor and author of André Kertész: The Early Years, and André Kertész: The Polaroids. Gurbo also organized the reissue of Kertész’s seminal book, On Reading, and is an Adjunct Professor of Art at Brooklyn College.

In a talk that offers an intimate, up-close perspective on Kertész, Gurbo interweaves the artist’s work and self-portraits into the timeline of his complicated life story. While the lecture covers Kertész’s entire career, Kertesz spent his last forty-nine years as a quintessential New Yorker – a displaced immigrant who felt like he never quite fit in, but once arrived, could exist nowhere else. His last body of work reflects his constantly evolving love/ hate relationship with the city. This talk offers Gurbo’s unique and personal insights on the life and work of a man he claims to have been obsessed with since he was sixteen years old.

This lecture is sponsored by The André and Elizabeth Kertész Foundation.

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City Lore

56 East 1st Street

New York, NY 10003

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