‘Vivian Maier: In Her Own Hands’ at Sofia City Art Gallery


An exhibition at the Sofia City Art Gallery presents the work of Vivian Maier (1926-2009), with a particular emphasis on the photographer’s self-portraits.

Maier was a professional nanny who, unbeknownst to those that knew her, used her spare time to photograph the streets of Chicago and New York. Following the discovery of her archive in 2007, Maier has been celebrated as one of the greats of American mid-century street photography. Anne Morin, director at diChroma Photography and curator of the exhibition has said: ‘Her work, lifelike and vibrant, resonates in some way with everyone who has ever looked at one of her images.’

Morin’s selection focusses on an important theme across Maier’s body of work: her search for identity through self-portraiture. The recurrent mode of the photographer’s self-portraits sees Maier make imaginative use of public mirrors and shop fronts to capture her presence within the everyday. Her camera is often prominently featured in these works, although a select number feature only her shadow. Morin sees the shadow motif as a form of signature, ‘able to make the absent present’.

Vivian Maier: In Her Own Hands is organized by MUSIZ Foundation in partnership with Sofia Municipality and the US Embassy in Sofia. The exhibition has been held in collaboration with diChroma photography, and will continue through 2 June 2019 at the Sofia City Art Gallery.

Vivian Maier’s archive is represented in the United Kingdom by Huxley-Parlour Gallery.

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