If you don't know Vivian Maier, you should!
Photo Center NW is proud to announce an upcoming exhibition of photographs by Vivian Maier (1926 – 2009) from the Jeffrey Goldstein Collection, featuring silver gelatin prints of images selected from the book, Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows, by Richard Cahan and Michael Williams of City Files Press. The exhibition puts Maier’s work in the context of her life during her highly creative period from the 1950s through the 1970s.
In addition to her known street photography, this exhibit will feature a prolific selection of images that show an artist with relentless curiosity that worked in a vast range of subjects and styles. Maier’s unique ability to brilliantly capture the zeitgeist is particularly apparent in shots of Chicago’s famous Maxwell Street and in protest scenes shot during the social unrest of 1968. Echoing the chapters in the upcoming book, the exhibition is organized to reflect nine of Maier’s personal journeys from the pastures of rural France to the streets of downtown Chicago, “Snapshots,” “America,” “Day,” “Maxwell,” “Beach,” “1968,” “Downtown,” “Walks,” and “Night.”
Maier’s work was discovered in Chicago in 2007 when boxes of abandoned prints, negatives and undeveloped film were sold at auction. Born in New York, Maier spent much of her youth in France. Starting in the late 1940s, she shot an average of a roll of film a day. She moved to Chicago in the mid-1950s, and spent the next 40 years working as a nanny to support her passion for photography. Maier died at the age of 83 before her work was ever publically recognized or exhibited.
Since her exhibition debut in 2010, Maier’s work has been shown at the Chicago Cultural Center, Russell Bowman Art Advisory in Chicago, Steven Kasher Gallery in New York, Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta, Stephen Cohen Gallery in Los Angeles and by the Hearst Corp. in New York. Vivan Maier: Out of the Shadows is the first exhibition to expand on her photographic legacy, examining her images within the framework of a life story that continues to be unraveled by art enthusiasts and historians.
“Vivian’s photographs tell her life story,” said Michael Williams, co-author of Vivian Maier: Out of the Shadows. “She was way ahead of her time—recording what she saw on a daily basis with a joy and curiosity that makes her work so compelling.”
Maier shot many of her most iconic pictures while working for various suburban Chicago families, a job that allowed her to periodically travel both domestically and abroad, as shown in her photographs of New York, South Dakota, Florida, California, as well as the rural pastures of Southern France. Images she snapped are combined with interviews with those who knew her best in the book, told by the authors.
“We went far in documenting Vivian’s life, but she loved being a woman of mystery,” said Richard Cahan, co-author of the book. “Even her photographs—clear, forthright images—only go so far in revealing her. That’s what great photographers do.”
The exhibition will feature posthumous, 12”x12” silver gelatin prints produced in editions of 15 and signed on the verso by Jeffrey Goldstein and by master gelatin silver printers, Ron Gordon and Sandra Steinbrecher.