When Chicago nanny Vivian Maier died in 2009, she left behind an archive of over 100,000 negatives, prints, and home-made films discovered only shortly before her death.
An American of French and Austro-Hungarian extraction, Maier picked up photography in 1949 and kept taking snapshots well into the 1990s.
Depicting the streets of Chicago in her unique, impromptu style, Maier recorded some of the most interesting phenomena and bizarreness of urban America in the second half of the twentieth century. Interesting bits of Americana, the demolition of historic landmarks, the unseen lives of ethnic groups and the destitute, as well as some of Chicago’s most cherished sites were all meticulously catalogued by Vivian Maier.
Maier’s massive body of work came to light in 2007 when her work was discovered at a local thrift auction house on Chicago’s Northwest Side.
The first exhibition of Maier’s work in the UK is showcasing 48 framed prints in both black and white and colour, together with a selection of Maier’s silent films.
Vivian Maier: A Life Uncovered, at the German Gymnasium, Pancras Road, NW1 2TB, forms part of the London Street Photography Festival launched this summer. It is open until the 24th July 2011.
For further info, visit londonstreetphotographyfestival.org.
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