Galerie Miranda in Paris, France is currently holding an exhibition featuring the work of two very talented artists — Andre Kertesz and Arne Svenson. Titled “A ma fenêtre”, the show includes one of the final photographic series published by the late Andre Kertesz (considered as a pillar of contemporary art and street photography) and Arne Svenson's award-winning series “The Neighbors”. The exhibit was brought to Paris by Galerie Miranda and will be on display at their gallery until February 16, 2019.
The name Andre Kertesz will forever be among the list of photography masters who have redefined the art and introduced their own style. His photographs shaped fine art photography and reflected his own personal idea of beauty.
Even after in heartache and mourning after the passing of his wife Elizabeth in 1979, Kertesz continued to express himself using photography — a thing he always loved. Using an SX-70 camera, the master created simple still life images that revolved around his personal space — giving viewers an intimate view into this reflective phase of his career. In his home in New York City, the master discovered a new instrument to make beautiful imagery with.
As time would have it, Arne Svenson also did a series of work in his residence in New York. Only this time it was 33 years after Kertesz's instant snaps and Svenson's subjects were strangers caught up in a tableau of anonymity and daily life. Svenson's "The Neighbors" is a series of photographs that were taken from his apartment in Manhattan. As a photographer, Svenson wanted to capture art in the everyday routines of these strangers and delicately worked on keeping their identities safe. The result is a silent but animated piece of work that is in contrast with the bustling city's chaotic realities.
When asked about the decision to bring the works of Kertesz to Paris, Miranda Salt, owner of Galerie Miranda had this to say about Kertesz and his work:
“In 2007 I came across a book of Kertész Polaroids (published by WW Norton) that I wasn't familiar with until then and I was stunned by their beauty and poetry. Eleven years later, I opened my own photography gallery and bookshop in Paris, presenting established foreign artists with little visibility in Europe as well as unusual works by major artists. This when I decided to show the Kertész Polaroids, whose last exhibition in Paris dates back to a 2010 Kertész retrospective at the Jeu de Paume Museum. The art market value of Kertész' Polaroids derives undoubtedly from both their exceptional role in Kertész artistic career — his last major series and his only body of work in color — as well as their unique character. At the age of 84, André Kertész was able to draw upon his boundless talent and intuition to produce new work with a new and untried camera that was the complete opposite of the black and white darkroom photography he had just spent 60 years mastering: small, immediate, and in color. However, the role of the Polaroids in Kertész private life also accounts for a large part of their appeal: a poetic tribute by a brilliant, aging and lonely man, to his deceased wife and soul-mate Elizabeth. It is worth mentioning that the Polaroids currently presented at the gallery are 40 years old and are in exceptional condition, thanks to their impeccable conservation (by Stephen Bulger Gallery in Toronto).”
The showing of the two contrasting yet complimenting works of the two artists wasn't a coincidence. It was a way to focus on both styles of photography but with different perspectives. This juxtaposition of Kertesz's minute instants to Svenson's large portraits made for a beautiful unison of color, style, and medium. When asked about the decision to put the two works together, this is what Miranda had to say:
“Beyond the fact of both series being taken at the Manhattan window of each artist, I wanted to underscore the timeless appeal of the Kertész Polaroids by taking them out of a classic vintage context. I loved Arne Svenson's painterly series 'The Neighbors' and the dialogue between the two artists and series struck me as being both interesting and harmonious; in terms of photographic genre - portraits for Svenson, still lives for Kertész; in terms of generations - Polaroids from 1979 with Svenson's 2012 pigment prints; and in simple terms of format - the tiny Kertész Polaroids hung alongside the 30 × 45 inch (75 × 112 cm) makes for a dramatic exhibition design in which the two series stand out without competing.
Galerie Miranda is located in 21 rue du Château d'Eau, Paris, France and is open from Tuesday through Saturday, 12:00 - 19:00. They will open a new exhibition featuring another body of work shot from a Manhattan window, by another exceptional artist Merry Alpern titled “Dirty Windows” from the 22nd of February until the 19th of April 2019. It will feature images from a permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and San Francisco.
All information used in this article was sourced from Galerie Miranda. We would like to express our gratitude to Ms. Miranda Salt for providing us the information to write this article. All images were used with permission.