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Tuesday, 26 July 2011


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"André Kertész His Life and Work", by Pierre Borham is one of the few photo books I kept after moving to a smaller house, and disposing of many other good books.

I couldn't quite purchase this one straight away, Mike - £46 is just beyond my instinctive internal one-click buy reflex at the moment. It embarrasses me, however, that I only own one very slim Kertész book. And it excites me that I hope to see the current exhibition at the Royal Academy in the next couple of weeks, "Eyewitness: Hungarian Photography in the 20th Century" (Brassaï, Capa, Kertész, Munkácsi, Moholy-Nagy). So this purchase temptation poltergeist might linger before possessing my left mouse finger.

There's one less copy available at Amazon, and it's all your fault. My rationalization: an early birthday present to myself. Besides, it's a lot cheaper than the Miata... Thanks, Mike... :-)

I have several Kertesz books, but none with a biography, which is somthing I would really like to read.
(My favorite is J'Aime, Paris which, now that you mention it, I think that I'll take down from the shelf tonight and re-enjoy it.)

Mike, just remember that most iTunes download tracks are not high quality, if you need help with resisting! But you can buy from one of the online music download stores that sell in lossless format. Examples are hdtracks.com, livedownloads.com, beatport.com, and classicalshop.net. All of which are not available outside of the US :(

wow-that image on the cover is incredible. Gotta check this one out. Thanks for sharing.

Just get this book, Mike. It's even better than you think it is. Kertesz is in my top 5 list, one of the very few photographers who strikes a very personal chord with me. I already have "several" books of his work. But this is the cherry on the sundae.

Sincerely, Your Enabler,

p.s. "Andre Kertesz of Paris and New York" is a fine work, too. Sadly, I don't own a copy but have read the copy in the Ryerson Library at the Museum. But, shhh, keep it to yourself. David Travis, the former curator and chair of photography at the Art Institute of Chicago, is a friend.

I mentioned in the Captions discussion that Kertesz is one of my all time favorites. He is easily in my top 10 along with Strand, Walker Evans and others. I have at least 15 books on Kertesz, and have been fortunate enough to have owned his vintage prints.

He also gets little recognition for tutoring and teaching Brassai (Gyula Halasz) night photography and other techniques. Brassai did fairly well with Paris de Nuit, which likely wouldn't have happened without the help from Kertesz.

Besides the books, this video is maybe your best use of $4 today...http://www.amazon.com/Andre-Kertesz--Master-Photography-VHS/dp/B0013E05PM/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1311730307&sr=8-2


If you're expecting an intervention against your book habit from this crowd, you're barking up the wrong tree.
I bought Kertesz about a month ago, and I'm not sorry.

Plus, after reading your post, I bought a $25 used copy of Andre Kertesz of Paris and New York. When my wife asks, I'm blaming that on you.

On a related topic, how about a list of those 30 favorites? We'll all tell you you're wrong because you left off so-and-so, but you can take it.

You mention a list of 30 essential photographers -- please post it! I know you would catch endless grief for posting such a list, but I would love to see it. I'd also like to read the comments that post would generate. A post like that would surely end up in my bookmarks.

JUST amazing how much Kertesz'z work has influenced modern photography..haven't visited him in a while and it's incredible to see what a heavy he was.

"On Reading" remains a favourite of mine.

The Haydn set was originally released in the seventies on vinyl and I was definitely interested then. While the original release was quite expensive too, there was a rerelease later here in Germany for a book and record company, "2001" (named after the movie/book), and at that time I could afford it even as a student. Those were still vinyl, but since I got a new record player in 2008 I am all set. While there are other approaches to Haydn (the historic instruments and practice movement came a little later) it is still worthwhile to have and was a monumental task undertaken by Dorati.

Jump on a plane to Berlin Mike for the Kertész show: http://www.berlinerfestspiele.de/en/aktuell/festivals/11_gropiusbau/mgb_aktuelle_ausstellungen/kertesz/mgb11_kertesz_start.php
I'll buy you a beer, and you can get the catalogue for 25€! Win win situation!

A saw the Eyewitness exhibition at the royal academy in London a few weeks ago which highlighted Hungarian photography in the 20th century. I saw vintage prints from Brassaï, Capa, Kertész, Moholy-Nagy, Munkácsi & Kertész


The book from the show is very good imo http://www.amazon.co.uk/Eyewitness-Hungarian-Photography-Twentieth-Moholy-Nagy/dp/190571176X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1311754584&sr=1-1

But I was thinking during the show that I didn't have a book of Kertész. My higher power is the god of photography and surely she's trying to send me a message here.

Follow up: I couldn't resist. I bought it (there goes more of my grad student salary).

I bought that book as soon as it went on sale. Along with HCB, Kertesz was one of my most important references. "Meudon, 1928" is one of his photographs that has been etched in my mind since I first laid eyes on it more than 10 years ago.

In 2008 Kertesz' book »On Reading« was reprinted, at last. A beautifull little hardback, available at Amazon & Bookdepository.
Highly recommended!


if you happen to be in Berlin you don't want to miss the Kertesz exhibition which also sells the catalogue for 25 EUR:


The exibition runs until 11 September 2011.

Damn you Johnson- Just ordered the book!

Great photographer, great book. Well worth having and you should really buy it. Feels liberating telling you this as you and my pal Maarten have cost me a fortune in recommending photography books. :-)
As far as the iTunes downloads ultimately it is being able to listen to the music that counts, we have all heard music on a cheap car radio that sounded magical at the time. Yet as Peter pointed out an iTunes download is not of the highest quality, and not to start a flame war but nothing like a record for real listening pleasure. :-)


do you have a running list of recommended books? It would be nice to have such a thing that we could refer to, w/ link on the front page, when money trickles in and we just can't quite find the post on that great title.

"And it excites me that I hope to see the current exhibition at the Royal Academy in the next couple of weeks, "Eyewitness: Hungarian Photography in the 20th Century" (Brassaï, Capa, Kertész, Munkácsi, Moholy-Nagy)."


Thanks for the recommendation, Mike. I just parted with hard-earned cash to acquire this book. I've always wanted a good one on Kertesz. Most of my photography book library has been built from titles you mention on the blog.

Gosh darn it Mike! I already have at least 4-5 books on this guy. Hmmmmm. Nonetheless I just hit the 1-Click at Amazon and it's on the way.....I'm excited. Think I'll attach my 90 Elmar to my MP, load s roll of Plus-X and go shoot some...

I followed your link and placed my order. Many thanks.

Thank you for this great blog work and the A. Kertesz highlight - high noon for me to add this to my miniature library.

Can't wait to receive a copy from the book depository.

Andre Kertesz is perhaps the most undervalued, gentle creator of the last century in photography, of photography as an art standing on it's own tripod.

Otherwise, I am completely with the recent WTDuck strip!
And go ahead and order.....some things are essential in life c-; on the level of food and shelter being secondary considerations indeed.


I spent three hours enjoying the Kertesz retrospective at the Jeu de Paume in January, and was surprised at how much of the Paris work he did in Tuileries. When I left the exhibit I stayed in the garden and spent a wonderful hour shooting people in this same setting. The January sun gave great long shadows and I actually got some of my best recent street shots with his inspiration fresh in my mind. The book is a must-have.

Some years ago, a French friend, said that Bresson once put that - we all owe something to kertész.
I don't know if he really said that, but it always sound true to me.

Gee, thanks for forcing my hand, Mike. I've had it on my wishlist for gift-giving (receiving) occasions for a while, but fearing the TOP Effect I went ahead and bought it before it goes OOP for good. It's already gone from being immediately available to shipping in "7 to 10 days".

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