ANDRÉ KERTÉSZ | Flowers for Elizabeth, New York, 1976 | Gelatin silver print
Sold for $7,500 at The Face of Modernism: A Private West Coast Collection, 4 April 2012, New York.
In Flowers for Elizabeth, New York, taken four decades after his move to New York, André Kertész takes a portrait without the actual presence of the subject. The artist’s wife, Elizabeth, is felt in the bountiful bouquets; the artist himself is felt in the shirt haphazardly slung over the chair, his reading glasses strewn on the seat, and a book casually opened to two pages of nude figures. Kertész’s beloved Elizabeth passed away the year after this picture was taken, rendering this image a lasting and charming memento of their lives together.
Igor Bakht, from whose collection the print originates, was a fellow Hungarian exile of Kertész. In the 1960s they began a long lasting collaboration as photographer and printer.