Photographer André Kertész (American, born Hungary, 1894–1985) arrived in Paris in the fall of 1925 with little more than a camera and some savings. By the end of 1928, he was contributing regularly to magazines and exhibiting his work internationally alongside well-known artists like Man Ray and Berenice Abbott. The three years between his arrival in Paris and his emergence as a major figure in modern art photography marked a period of dedicated experimentation and exploration for Kertész. During this time he carved out a photographic practice that allowed him to move between the realms of amateur and professional, photojournalist and avant-garde artist, diarist and documentarian.
For those three years only, Kertész produced most of his prints on carte postale, or postcard, paper. Although his choice may have initially been born of economy and convenience, he turned this popular format toward artistic ends, rigorously composing new images in the darkroom and making a new kind of photographic object. The small scale of the cards also allowed them to circulate in a way befitting an immigrant artist—shared with a widening circle of international friends at the café table or sent in an envelope to faraway family.