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André Kertész and Theodore Fried: Away From Home

The Corcoran Gallery of Art’s modest “André Kertész and Theodore Fried: Away From Home” features the art created by two men of similar circumstances who became lifelong friends—and each other’s artistic sounding boards. Kertész, a photographer, and Fried, a painter, were Hungarian expats who met in Jazz Age Paris and who eventually emigrated to New York City, where they died in the ’80s. (Fried, who was Jewish, had considerably more difficulty escaping; after operating a studio that also served as an operations center for the French Underground, he was spirited out as the Nazis’ noose tightened in 1942.) Kertész, the more famous of the two, is rightly celebrated for his vertiginous, geometric arrangements of light and shadow—an approach documented in the exhibition by images of elevated train tracks, a snowy scene outside his New York apartment window, and a remarkable tableau of a boy partly obscured by the large toy boat he’s carrying into the Central Park boat pond. The show goes on to tantalize viewers with one image from Kertész’s inexplicably ignored “distortion” series (Distortion #49 is pictured), which features female nudes reflected in funhouse mirrors. Fried, for his part, is a revelation, capturing depressive moods in a variety of formats. His musty oils are almost cheerful when compared with his dark etchings, ink washes, woodcuts, and charcoals of shadowy figures, forlorn refugees, skeletons, and rampaging mobs. The exhibit is on view from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, Wednesday, and Friday to Sunday, and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, to Monday, Sept. 17, at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, 500 17th St. NW. $5 (free all day Monday and after 5 p.m. Thursday). (202) 639-1700. (Louis Jacobson)