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Underwater Swimmer, Esztergom, Hungary

André Kertész American, born Hungary

Not on view

This tiny but iconic masterpiece of twentieth-century photography is the second earliest work in the exhibition, and a gem in the Tenenbaum and Lee collection. Made while André Kertész was convalescing from a gunshot wound received while serving in the Austro-Hungarian army during World War I, it prefigures by some fifteen years his renowned mirror distortions produced in Paris. Displaying both Cubist and Surrealist influences, the photograph reveals the artist’s commitment to the spontaneous yet analytic observation of fleeting commonplace occurrences—one of the essential and most idiosyncratic qualities of the medium.

Underwater Swimmer, Esztergom, Hungary, André Kertész (American (born Hungary), Budapest 1894–1985 New York), Gelatin silver print

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