Although Vivian Maier and her body of work remained unknown during her lifetime, since the discovery of her prolific output in 2007 when an unmarked lot of thousands of negatives was bought at auction in Chicago, this unique street photographer has captured the imagination of an international audience.
Born in New York, Maier spent part of her early years in France before moving to Chicago where she became a nanny. On her days off or spare time she would embark on taking photographs and over five decades amassed over 100,000 images.
Yet little is still known about the intensely private woman, even after the celebrated 2013 documentary Finding Vivian Maier, which chronicled the discovery of her extensive practice that she kept hidden from friends and her employers.
This elusive character inspired Akris’ Creative Director Albert Kriemler to create a collection paying homage to Maier’s self-portraits and work. Available at Bergdorf Goodman, many of the pieces from the collection feature Maier’s imagery; one dress in particular uses the buttercup-filled grass on which Maier captured her own shadow.
At Howard Greenberg, you’ll be able to see only 30 examples of her work. Including many of the self-portraits that Maier took in shop windows, the show will also present a range of street shots taken between 1950 and 1978 that reveal Maier’s fascination for people and city life, from a photo of singer, actress and civil rights activist Lena Horne taken in 1954 to the back of a cowboy walking down a busy sidewalk.
Below is just a small selection of works included in the show.
Akris x Vivian Maier is at Howard Greenberg Gallery, The Fuller Building, 41 East 57th Street, New York from May 17 to May 20, 2017.