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Chez Mondrian

A work made of gelatin silver print.

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  • A work made of gelatin silver print.




André Kertész
American, born Hungary, 1894–1985

About this artwork

In 1925, André Kertész moved from his native Hungary to Paris, where he found a community of like-minded artists and writers. Among them was Piet Mondrian, the De Stijl painter who was becoming known for his geometric abstractions. Mondrian invited the young photographer to his studio in early 1926. As Kertész recalled years later:

“I went to his studio and instinctively tried to capture in my photographs the spirit of his paintings. He simplified, simplified, simplified. The studio with its symmetry dictated the composition. He had a vase with a flower, but the flower was artificial. It was colored by him with the right color to match the studio.”

Although Mondrian imposed rigid geometric order on everything in the apartment, Kertész found deviations in the curves of the staircase, vase, and the round boater hat hanging on the rack. (The hat belonged to the photographer’s friend Michel Seuphor, a painter and writer who authored a book on Mondrian, who had accompanied Kertész to the studio.) This photograph has become one of Kertész’s most famous, although it was not published until 1943. It was known previously only through exhibitions, including Kertész’s first exhibition in 1927 at the Parisian gallery Au Sacre du Printemps.


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Photography and Media


André Kertész


Chez Mondrian


United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1926


Gelatin silver print


Inscribed recto, on mount, lower left, below image, in graphite: "A. Kertész"; recto, on mount, lower right, below image, in graphite: "Paris"; verso unchecked


Image/paper: 10.8 × 7.9 cm (4 5/16 × 3 1/8 in.); Mount: 37.2 × 27.4 cm (14 11/16 × 10 13/16 in.)

Credit Line

Julien Levy Collection, Gift of Jean and Julien Levy

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

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