Art is divine

Vivian Maier - Souls in Mirror -

by Micha Christos

VIVIAN MAIER

MUSEE DU LUXEMBOURG

Paris

September 15, 2021- January 16, 2022

Vivian Maier

Chicago, 1957

silver print , 2012

© Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and

Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY

Vivian Maier

New York, 1953

silver print 2020

© Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and

Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY

Vivian Maier was born in New York in 1926 to an American father of Austro-Hungarian origins and a French mother, who led her to make several stays in France from six to twelve years. She discovers the photo by a friend of her mother with whom they live after the divorce of her parents. Jeanne Bertrand resides in the Bronx and will introduce Vivian to photography that she herself practices with success and notoriety.

Vivian Maier will become nanny of children and will exercise this humble career from 1951 to her death in Chicago in the spring of 2009. She will remain for seventeen years the second mother of the Gensburg brothers, John, Lane and Matthew, who will never forget their " Mary Poppins ”and will care for her at the end of her life with love and gratitude.

Her talent remained in the shadows until the discovery in 2007 of her immense collection of photography. John Maloof, after having bought all the boxes of the old lady who had not been able to pay the amount of her storage, will take an interest in the archives of Vivan Maier and have them published having realized the beauty of her clichés.

This dense work of more than 120,000 images of super 8 and 16mm film and undeveloped film reveals the passion that Vivian Maier lives on a daily basis. From then on, she was recognized as one of the emblematic photographers of Street Photography and inscribed her name in gold letters alongside Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, Helen Levitt or Garry Winogrand.


Vivian Maier

Chicago, 1960

silver print , 2020

© Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and

Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY

Vivian Maier

Chicago, no date

silver print , 2020

© Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and

Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY


 

 

 

 

 

 

Street scenes and working-class neighborhoods were her favorite theater and form the first theme of her work.

Vivian Maier recounts her time through the looks, gestures, expressions and situations with which she identifies for a second of eternity.

Her discretion in her art is associated with the tenderness of the way she looks at people. She borrows from the universe of childhood this faculty of suspending time in its flight and of fully living the moment that she savors with intensity.

Vivian Maier

No place, no date

silver print , 2020

© Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and

Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY


Vivian Maier

No place no date

silver print , 2020

© Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and

Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY

Vivian Maier

Chicago, february 1961

silver print , 2020

© Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and

Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY


Vivian Maier

Notre-Dame de Paris, September 6,  1959

silver print , 2020

© Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and

Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY

 

 

 

And then there is the universe of children which has been hers for so long, and which is also the world of freedom where time no longer exists. She is attached to shapes, rhythms, materials and objects found during her long walks. Vivian Maier uses black and white before discovering the musicality of the sixties color. She tries her hand at the cinema but far from filming an action she follows the displacement of her own gaze in search of the photographic image that appears.

A shadow on the ground, her reflection in a shop window, the silhouette of a tramp suspended between heaven and earth like a celestial emperor of America, people of good society in the evening, portraits of blacks or white people despite segregation, a child who cries or laughs… so many scenes whose emotion vibrates fully to touch the soul in her eternal star.

Vivian Maier, free in her head, has been able to bring her magic to our world and, in all discretion, forever leave her unique light and grace in small accessible things.