Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Andre kertesz

Another great show at Stephen Bulger, always a first stop when I get to Toronto. And last weekend, despite the horrific heat, I paid a visit to Queen West to see Andre Kertesz's photographs at the new gallery. The gallery sports a gorgeous flat-panelled wooden door, but otherwise is simple, even a bit smaller. I will miss the old location right next to Coupe Bizarre--the best haircut and best photography gallery side-by-side. Not that Stephen Bulger is in any way similar to Coupe Bizarre, but in fact in terms of his eye and ability to curate the edgy as well as the classics, there is a kinship there. But no more. Now we have to wander down past Ossington. This was my old Toronto turf--in fact I wrote much of my first poetry collection around the corner from the Drake Hotel in the sun room of a Victorian duplex. But I digress.
Kertesz has had a long and varied career. The surrealist photos are wonderful (the famous nudes that call up images of Man Ray and Lee Miller) but so are the portraits and street scenes. There are several very small, technically perfect photos which fly in the face of the current desire for large, larger, largest, in photography. Not that I don't appreciate what Jeff Wall and others have done, just that this is a wonderful, and indeed a kind of hopeful, even innocent, gesture. There's a great piece on Kertesz here on PBS, which is where I found this fabulous quote: I've been making mistakes since 1912. I'm still learning from them.

Here's to being open to error. More shots here.

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