André Kertész (1894 - 1985), Hungarian/American
MELANCHOLIC TULIP, 1939
Gelatin silver print; signed and dated 1939 in pencil verso. Printed circa 1970.
Image/Sheet 9.7" x 7" — 24.6 x 17.8 cm.; 10" x 8" — 25.4 x 20.3 cm.
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.
Acquired directly from the artist by the present Private Collection, Toronto in September, 1978