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Between and Mortarboard


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Two Statues' Shadows

Accession Number
2009/2.13

Title
Two Statues' Shadows

Artist(s)
André Kertész

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1979

Medium & Support
cibachrome print on paper

Dimensions
10 in x 8 in (25.4 cm x 20.32 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
Following the death of his wife in 1977, Kertész began photographing objects in his New York City apartment using a Polaroid SX-70 camera. This image features two small glass busts in a rounded curving shape that reminded the photographer of his wife's neck and shoulders. Kertész took 53 different photographs of this bust, sometimes positioning it on the windowsill to distort the appearance of the world outside, but here he has tilted two of the sculptures together to articulate a gentle embrace. The shadows cast by these two sculptures on the wall behind them, alongside the shadow of the photographer himself, further underscore the biographical resonance of the image.

Physical Description
Square-format photograph depicting two abstract glass objects tilted towards each other. The shadows of these objects and that of an unseen man are visible on the wall in the background.

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
busts (figures)
glass (material)
instant cameras
photographs
shadows
statues

6 Related Resources

Death and Dying
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)
Film Noir, Visuality and Themes
(Part of 8 Learning Collections)
Marriage
(Part of 8 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

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