Something for the Weekend: Hungarian Photography at the Royal Academy
Following Thursday’s article on Alfred Stieglitz, we continue on the theme of photography, taking a look at a fascinating exhibition currently running at the royal Academy in London. Eyewitness: Hungarian Photography in the 20th Century exhibits the work of influential Hungarian photographers, including André Kertész, one of the most original and celebrated of photographers of all time.
For those stuck for something to do this weekend, you might like to consider a trip to the Royal Academy of Arts. Running from 30 June—2 October 2011, the RA is currently holding a fascinating exhibition on the work of Hungarian photographers that have had a long lasting impact on the photography art scene, specifically Brassaï, Robert Capa, André Kertész, László Moholy-Nagy and Martin Munkácsi.
Brassaï, Capa, Kertész, Moholy-Nagy and Munkácsi each left Hungary to make their names in Germany, France and the USA, and are now known for the profound changes they brought about in photojournalism, as well as abstract, fashion and art photography. Others, such as Károly Escher, Rudolf Balogh and Jószef Pécsi remained in Hungary producing high-quality and innovatory photography. This exhibition, organised on the occasion of the Hungarian Presidency of the EU this year, exhibits work by these photographers, ranging in date from c.1914–c.1989. These photographs explore stylistic developments in photography and chart key historical events, revealing the achievements of Hungarian photographers who left such an enduring legacy to international photography.
More on Andrew Kertesz
Andre Kertesz (1894-1985) was a founder of the modernist photography that originated in the European avant-garde movements of the 1920s, and although his lifelong unwillingness to compromise his independence and his creation of ‘photographic poetry’ made him an almost marginal figure for most of his life, his influence on the development of photography, particularly photojournalism, during the middle years of the century was profound.
Kertesz by Michel Frizot is a comprehensive book, accompanying a major retrospective exhibition of Kertesz’s work at Paris’ Jeu de Paume Museum. The text is organized around the three main periods of Kertesz’s seventy-year-long career: Budapest, 1914-25; Paris, 1925-36; and, New York, 1936-85. Each section of the text includes an illustrated historical analysis, a portfolio of works, and notes on particular elements of Kertesz’s style and practice. Many rare vintage and period prints produced under the photographer’s control are reproduced to highest standards in this beautiful book, reflecting the visual quality of this exceptional body of compelling and poetic images.
Visit the official RA page for Eyewitness: Hungarian Photography in the 20th Century
Visit the official Kertesz book page on the Yale University Press website.
View Hungarian photo gallery on the BBC Website