New York, 1926-2009
Vivian Maier worked as a babysitter. Next to that she photographed throughout her life, without anyone ever seeing the result. Her work was only discovered after her death when a box of negatives was offered at a local auction which immediately caused a sensation, worldwide. Maier’s impressive oeuvre can compete with famous contemporaries.
Vivian moved in with a well-to-do family in Chicago in 1956. She turned her own bathroom into a black-room for developing her pictures. She was not able to nanny there for an extremely long time, because the children got older. This meant that she had to move and was not able to develop her own photos anymore. This resulted in the film rolls piling up. Financial worries and the lack of a fixed roof over her head meant that Maier finally had to put down her camera and put her things in storage. Her photographic archive slowly fell into oblivion until it was auctioned for non-payment in 2007.
Vivian her photographic work is focused on social topics: street life, the less fortunate and immigrants. She experimented more and more with color film, which led to a more abstract approach to her photography. Her colored work seems more playful with a slight wink to her black and white work. That is also because she used a different camera for her colored photos: a Leica instead of a Rolleiflex. Vivian her most well-known work is in black and white, but FOAM offers a colored sensation this season.
Vivian at FOAM
10 april – 28 juni 2020
Following upon the successful Vivian Maier – Street Photographer exhibition at FOAM in 2014, the Vivian Maier – Works in Color exhibition can be seen this spring.
This exhibition will consist of a more unknown part of her oeuvre: more than 60 color photographs from the period 1956-1986. Maier often made snapshots of daily lifes of people around her and on the streets. The photos in the exhibition show the street scene of Chicago – the city where Maier lived a large part of her life. People, objects, billboards and shop windows are often seen objects in her scenery.
Works in Color
As mentioned Vivian is mainly known for her black and white photography. Though, as already seen in the images here, this exhibition shows a lot of color usage. Impressive to see the brightness and the vibrancy of these colors which give a scene about how her surroundings might have been. I am wondering why there are so many black and white pictures because these scenes seem so much fun and so interesting! I am really curious about the other 56 images FOAM has to show us!
Vivian Maier – Works in Color
10 april – 28 juni 2020
Foam | www.foam.org
Want to see more than Vivian Maier her work? There is also a documentary about her life: Finding Vivian Maier (2014). This documentary can be seen at NPO Start.
This article is not sponsored. The information was received in a press release.