4.8 – 7.9 2015
Vivian Maier:Chicago | New York
04.08 – 07.09.2015
An exhibition of exquisitely hand printed photographs, made from the artist’s original negatives, by Vivian Maier. The show spanned some of Maier’s most fascinating photographs, many never seen in London before, showcasing her street photography alongside her ingenious and intricately staged self-portraits.
Maier’s photographs show her exceptional eye for detail and flair for composition. They are witty and intelligent, and charged with a strong sense of empathy. She took photographs of the downtrodden as well as the well-heeled, of youth and of age. Maier was endlessly inspired by the lives around her.
Maier scoured the streets of Chicago and New York, using her trusty Rolleiflex, to shoot up to a whole roll of film each day. Unknown in her lifetime, she left an outstanding body of work composed of more than 100,000 negatives and undeveloped roll films.
B. United States1926-2009
Vivian Maier worked as a nanny and pursued photography in her spare time, focusing on the streets of central Chicago and New York as her subject. Maier would use her Rolleiflex twin lens camera to capture the lives of people – portraits of distinctive individuals, urban structures, children at play were her most consistent subjects. Her photographs were taken using a concealed lens to give her work its untempered character. Maier was prolific, frequently using a roll of film a day, though she remained secretive about her work, rarely showing it to anyone. Maier amassed a significant archive of street photography, while also turning the camera on herself to create self-portraits that play with the nature of photographic representation. Her work records the shifting climate of 1950s and 1960s America.
Maier stored her growing number of photographic negatives in storage containers as her reclusive behaviour escalated and she faced increasing financial difficulties. Whilst hospitalised, the contents of her storage containers were sold to clear debts. These were purchased by a Chicago-based auctioneer who put the containers into auction, a large number of which were purchased by John Maloof, founder of the Vivian Maier archive.
Maier’s story and her work have been the subject of numerous publications and exhibitions and a documentary, Finding Vivian Maier was made in 2013.
Maier died in New York in 2009.