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Mondrian's Glasses and Pipe

black and white photo of two pairs of circle shaped eyeglasses and a wooden pipe in a bowl.

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  • black and white photo of two pairs of circle shaped eyeglasses and a wooden pipe in a bowl.




André Kertész
American, born Hungary, 1894–1985

About this artwork

Hungarian-born André Kertész had been living in Paris for less than a year when he visited the studio of the Dutch painter Piet Mondrian. Mondrian’s Eyeglasses and Pipe is one of a group of beautiful still lifes that the photographer took that day. Within the austere clarity of these simple geometric forms—common manufactured items that Mondrian used daily—Kertész captured the essence of this master of abstraction, both his aspirations to order and his slight and human divergences from it. The insistent angularity of the stark white table is offset by the sculptural curves of the glasses, bowl, and pipe, curves that were rigorously excluded from Mondrian’s art. Throughout Kertész’s long career, he sought the revelation of the found still life, of an abstract or resonating image discovered in an elliptical view. His signature practice of snaring and fixing these lyrical perceptions was facilitated by his later use of light, portable handheld cameras that enabled him to remain mobile and agile even when making still lifes. Kertész’s work significantly influenced that of his contemporaries Brassaï and Henri Cartier-Bresson.


Currently Off View


Photography and Media


André Kertész


Mondrian's Glasses and Pipe


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


Unmarked recto; verso unchecked


Image/paper: 15.7 × 18.2 cm (6 3/16 × 7 3/16 in.); Mount: 32.5 × 24.7 cm (12 13/16 × 9 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Julien Levy Collection, Gift of Jean and Julien Levy

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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