André Kertész, ‘Melancholic Tulip’, 1939-printed circa 1970, Waddington's
André Kertész, ‘Melancholic Tulip’, 1939-printed circa 1970, Waddington's

Image/Sheet 9.7" x 7" — 24.6 x 17.8 cm.; 10" x 8" — 25.4 x 20.3 cm.

From the Catalogue:
Hailed as one of the most important photographers of the 20th Century, André Kertész captured the delights of everyday life that go unnoticed. Melancholic Tulip’s very simple still life composition conveys a strong sense of emotion and contemplation. Beyond its natural splendor, Kertész’s tulip (with petals intact) is limbering down, its stem creating a beautiful arc shape for which the bloom balances so delicately from the rest of its parts. It conveys at once, both beauty and sadness, a feat so rarely achieved in art. Embracing modern approaches, defining all aspects of the visual arts, as well as photography, Kertész remained enticed by the still life genre throughout his career.

As the artist so beautifully defines his work: “to make photographs as by reflection in a mirror, unmanipulated and direct as in life”, Melancholic Tulip captures this precise sentiment.
Courtesy of Waddington's

Signature: signed and dated 1939 in pencil verso

Acquired directly from the artist by the present Private Collection, Toronto in September, 1978

About André Kertész

An important influence on photography both as journalism and as art, André Kertész is known for the visual lyricism and humanism that characterized his practice. A Hungarian-born Frenchman, Kertész moved to New York in 1936, having spent 1925-1936 in Paris at the centre of the émigré art world, where he photographed fellow artists such as Brassaï, Piet Mondrian, Marc Chagall, Alexander Calder, and Constantin Brancusi. It was not until 1964 that his work gained recognition in the U.S., when he was given a one-man show at the Museum of Modern Art. Today he is best known for his series of Polaroid studies of Washington Square Park, as well as his distorted nudes of the 1930s, which take the radical angles and manipulation of light and shadow of his street scenes and apply them to the human body to obtain a similar de-familiarizing effect. “The moment always dictates in my work,” Kertész once said. “Everybody can look, but they don't necessarily see ... I see a situation and I know that it's right.”

Hungarian, 1894-1985, Budapest, Hungary, based in New York, New York

Solo Shows

André Kertész: Raison d’Etre

Group Shows

San Francisco,
Los Angeles,
New York,
Art Basel 2017 - Folio
NextLevel Galerie, 
View Artist's CV