PRINT February 1986


ANDRÉ KERTÉSZ, WHO NEVER TOOK a rude picture, once said, “I’m just an ordinary photographer who does what he feels like doing, and that’s all.” Yet Kertész’s instinct for lyric moments, which was the essence of his style, became an inspiration for many He was among the first to go out with a small camera and distill images from the world instead of forcing it into the studio. Henri Cartier-Bresson called him “my chief poetic source?”

Kertész started taking photographs as a young man of 17 exploring Budapest and the nearby countryside. At the end of boring days at the stock market and on weekends, in the years before World War I, he would roam the streets with his camera, or stay up late to work in his makeshift darkroom inside a converted closet. Later, as a young officer wounded in the War, he was sent to the town of Esztergom, northwest of Budapest, on the Danube, to recuperate. There

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