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You are free to choose any work from this course-specific collection of surrealist art from UMMA as the subject for your third essay (Visual Analysis).  You can also search through the UMMA Exchange to find a different work to analyze for your paper -- but in this case, please check in with me first about your intentions.

We will spend some time in class Wednesday, Sep. 30 reviewing and discussing some of the works from this collection, so please come to class with specific observations, questions, and/or reflections in mind to contribute to our conversations.


59 Items in this Learning Collection
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Copyright
All Rights Reserved ()

Three Eyes

Accession Number
2009/2.14

Title
Three Eyes

Artist(s)
André Kertész

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1979

Medium & Support
cibachrome print on paper

Dimensions
3 15/16 in x 3 1/8 in (10 cm x 7.94 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. Seymour and Barbara K. Adelson

Label copy
In his 1979 series From My window, Andre Kertesz used the windowsill in his New York City apartment as a ready-made site for staging intriguing still lifes. In these two images, ordinary objects are animated by the colorful highlights and shadows cast by light coming through the glass. Kertesz used a Polaroid SX-70 camera to make these small-format instant photographs, which allowed him to react to subtle changes in light and color in the moment.

The series was made in the home he shared for decades with his late wife, Rebecca, and often evokes memories of their life together. Two Statues' Shadows reimagines Andre and Rebecca as overlapping glass figurines standing in the photographer's shadow as he makes this solitary, double self-portrait in glass and light. Three Eyes frames single eyes stacked next to a pair of glasses. Kertesz's emphasis on the acts of looking and seeing seem to be a meditation on the intimate act of composing arrangements of objects once shared with a lost companion.

Subject matter
Kertész began experimenting with a Polaroid SX-70 camera in the late 1970s, using the instant camera to photograph objects in his apartment in New York. This slightly surreal photograph depicts a still-life arrangement, created from three small sculptures, one cube and two spheres, each printed with an image of an eye. The cube is punctuated with a pair of spectacles, positioned so that one of the eyes can peer through them. At the encouragement of gallery owner Peter MacGill, Kertész published a book of these photographs entitled "From My Window" in 1981.

Physical Description
Square-format photograph of three small sculptures with eyes printed on them organized in a stack, alongside a pair of spectacles.

Primary Object Classification
Photograph

Collection Area
Photography

Rights
If you are interested in using an image for a publication, please visit http://umma.umich.edu/request-image for more information and to fill out the online Image Rights and Reproductions Request Form. Keywords
cubes (geometric figures)
eyeglasses
eyes (animal components)
instant cameras
sculpture groups
spheres (geometric figures)
still lifes

5 Related Resources

Surreal Photography
(Part of 2 Learning Collections)
See Through: Windows and Mirrors in Twentieth-Century Photography
(Part of: Image Portfolios about Photography)
Jewish Photographers 
(Part of: Ethnicity and Race)
André Kertész
(Part of: Modern Jewish Photography W20 - Dash Moore)

& Author Notes

All Rights Reserved