Brick Walls

Accession Number

Brick Walls

André Kertész

Artist Nationality
American (North American)

Object Creation Date
1961, printed 1973

Medium & Support
gelatin silver print on paper

9 ½ in x 7 ½ in (24.13 cm x 19.05 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Maxine and Lawrence K. Snider

Label copy
Recent Acquisitions: Curators Choice Part I, November 12, 2011-March 18, 2012
André Kertész
United States, born Hungary, 1894–1985
Brick Walls
Gelatin silver print
Gift of Larry and Maxine Snider

Subject matter
A sea of bricks fills the frame of this photograph, displaying Kertész's lifelong interest in the ways that the photographer's viewpoint, cropping choices, and perspective could transform the everyday world into abstract patterns or produce surprising formal relationships. Here, as the title suggests, Kertész concentrated on the façades of buildings, photographing their walls straight on to reduce the appearance of three-dimensionality, and eliminating extraneous details that identify the urban environment or its inhabitants. The effect is simultaneously minimalist and decorative, as the eye travels rythmically over the rectangular forms of bricks, windows, walls, doorways, and shadows. Kertész heightened the graphic qualities of the image by unfocusing his lens, such that the lines of the building in the background, in particular, look like little more than pencil marks.

Physical Description
Photograph of a group of brick buildings, cropped to accentuate the building materials and other geometric details such as a window and door.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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brick (clay product)
multistory buildings
urban landscapes
vernacular architecture

& Author Notes

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