Jacques Henri Lartigue (1894-1986) and André Kertész (1894-1985) were both born the same year. They could have met in Paris between the two world wars, but only met in New York in 1972. One is considered the master of the snapshot and the other as the master of reflexive photography. Putting their photographs in parallel allows us to show both their convergences and their divergences of life and point of view.
They exhibited successively at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in 1963 and 1964, where one was described as a "primitive amateur" and the other as the "inventor of photojournalism". John Szarkowski, then a young curator at the museum, developed a new vision of the history of photography that was no longer based solely on the history of techniques, but integrated the history of art by placing on the same level "the most banal vernacular images to the most refined expressions of cultivated sensibility". For Lartigue, these two pivotal exhibitions marked the beginning of international recognition, and for Kertész, a rediscovery after two more discrete decades. They also anchored Kertész's and Lartigue's practice in the first hall of the 20th century, identifying them as precursors of a visual modernity.