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Celebrating the Negative : André Kertesz by John Loengard


André Kertész took Satiric Dancer in 1926, a year after arriving in Paris at the age of 31. He was clowning around with some Hungarian pals in sculptor Istvá Beothy’s studio. Dancer Magda Förstner mimicked the host’s statuary, and Kertész, with his small glass-plate camera, recorded her jest. Later in his life, Kertész became allergic to photographic chemicals. Igor Bakht (a Russian who grew up in Tehran, where his father was official photographer to the Shah) made all his prints after 1964. “If you are not careful printing Satiric Dancer, the dress goes black and has no detail,” says Bakht who was born in 1931. “I give an extra bit of exposure to the right edge of the negative, and I’ll burn in the arms and legs and the lower part of the sculpture with an even longer exposure in order to get a bit of tone and separation there. “André wanted rich prints, but not too rich. If I’d brought out the clouds too dramatically in a picture, he’d say, “That’s too crafty. I want it slightly on the subtle side.”

John Loengard, Celebrating the Negative is available to museums as a touring exhibition from Curatorial Assistance.

Celebrating the Negative by John Loengard
Release in 1994
Published by Arcade Publishing

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