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André Kertész 
Distortion 172 
Gelatin silver print 
8 7/8 x 6 3/4 ins (22.5 x 17.1 cm) (image) 
Swann Galleries - New York 
Courtesy of Swann Galleries (Auction, Oct 17, 2014, #2361, Lot 57) 
A print that originally appeared in maquette form. Kertész's nude distortions, which were initiated in 1933, pay homage to the surrealist sensibility championed by André Breton. The series of images were originally inspired in 1930, when Kertész and Carlo Rim, the newly-appointed editor of Vu magazine, visited Luna Park. There they made portraits in the fun-fair's distorting mirrors.
Subsequently, Kertész purchased an antique mirror from the Marché aux Puces (flea market), in Paris. He then selected two models, the first a dance-hall performer with a full figure and the second, a younger woman with a thin, modern appearance (who was reportedly from a wealthy family). As the idea of using a mirror took shape, Kertész recognized how representing a distorted nude figure resulted in a new visual vocabulary. The overall effect varied considerably, in some instances areas of the body were grossly enlarged while in others they were rendered realistically. It is this incongruity in the picture frame that make Kertész's Distortions so compelling.
According to scholars familiar with Kertesz's methodology, he printed his own photographs in the 1930s. The size of this print is consistent with other early prints included in: Phillips, Travis, and Naef, André Kertész of Paris and New York, Art Institute of Chicago, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thames and Hudson, London, 1985, cat. nos. 102 (178x230 mm.), 105 (257x170 mm.), 104 (230x117 mm.), 107 (178x230 mm.), 108 (238x178 mm.), and 109 (238x166 mm). 

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