Ata Kandó came from a family of intellectuals. She trained at the Bortnyik School, a private art school in Budapest where she met her first husband, the painter Gyula Kandó. Until the outbreak of World War Two she worked as a children's more... »
Ata Kandó came from a family of intellectuals. She trained at the Bortnyik School, a private art school in Budapest where she met her first husband, the painter Gyula Kandó. Until the outbreak of World War Two she worked as a children's photographer, but hardly anything of this prewar work has survived. After spending time in Paris and Barcelona, she decided to settle in the French capital in 1947. In 1950, by which time she was divorced from Gyula, she met the young Dutch photographer Ed van der Elsken. In 1954 the two were married and returned to the Netherlands. This marriage, too, was shortlived; in 1955 they decided to go their separate ways.
Ata Kandó's work can be roughly divided into her time in Paris, the period in which she lived and worked in the Netherlands, and her Latin-American photographs. After the war she worked for Paris fashion houses and continued to do so after accompanying Ed van der Elsken to the Netherlands. In 1956 she and Violette Cornelius collaborated on a book about Hungarian refugees. A year later the book Droom in het woud (Dream in the forest) appeared, a photographic fantasy starring her children. Ulysse, another photo-book featuring her children, was never published, although many of the photographs did appear in magazines and catalogues. In 1961 she went on a trip through the Amazon region at the invitation of a Parisian mannequin who was married to an Indian assistant of Le Corbusier. She became fascinated by the Amazonian Indians and returned to the area in 1965 for a lengthier stay. Exhibitions and publications featuring her photographs played a significant part in informing the world about the destruction of the Amazonian Indians and their culture.
Ata Kandó also played an important role as a teacher of photography at the School of Graphic Arts in Utrecht and the AKI in Enschede. Her pupils included Koen Wessing and Ad van Denderen. « less...
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