Vivian Maier: Unpublished

The story of Vivian Maier, though unusual, is that of one of the greatest photographers of the 20th century. This exhibition, previously unseen in Italy, tackles her work as a whole, through the major themes that structured her oeuvre between 1950 and the late 1980s. The street is a place ripe for observation because it is where everything happens. Maier had a predilection for the working-class neighborhoods of the cities in which she lived: first New York, between 1951 and 1956, then Chicago, where she died in 2009.

She tirelessly explored these neighborhoods and streets from every angle, venturing into this constant flow of human geography, its fabric transformed by anonymous individuals who simply follow one another or cross paths left and right. In this theater of the ordinary, everyone unknowingly plays a role, becoming the protagonist if only for a fraction of a second.

In this exhibition, the public is given access for the first time to the unseen archives belonging to the photographer. Juxtapositions and connections are brought to light by these new perspectives: vintage photographs taken by Maier, Super 8, and 16mm films that have never been shown. The exhibition thus enables the public to grasp the full scope of the work of this great artist and to place her work in the history of photography. The exhibition is supported by Women In Motion, a Kering program that shines a light on the talent of women in the fields of arts and culture. The exhibition was presented for the first time at the Musée du Luxembourg, Paris, from 15 September 2021 to 16 January 2022, and was organized by diChroma and la Réunion des musées nationaux-Grand Palais.

About the Author

Vivian Maier (February 1, 1926 – April 21, 2009) was an American street photographer born in New York City. Although born in the U.S., it was in France that Maier spent most of her youth. Maier returned to the U.S. in 1951 where she took up work as a nanny and caregiver for the rest of her life. In her leisure time, however, Maier had begun to venture into the art of photography. Consistently taking photos over the course of five decades, she would ultimately leave over 100,000 negatives, most of them shot in Chicago and New York City.

A self-portrait of Vivian Maier

Vivian would further indulge in her passionate devotion to documenting the world around her through homemade films, recordings, and collections, assembling one of the most fascinating windows into American life in the second half of the twentieth century.

Vivian Maier: Unpublished
9 February – 26 June 2022
Musei Reali – Turin – Italy

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