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EXHIBITION:



 

New York NY c. 1950

 

VIVIAN MAIER

A photographer revealed

 

 

21st JUne- 20th October 2019

Curator: Anne Morin

 

 

 

New York, NC, c. 1950 © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY

 

The exhibition is made up of 135 photographs, of which 33 have never been shown in Spain, and represents a small treasure trove.

The photographs are divided into 6 themed sections:

1. Portraits
This section is largely made up of a wide variety of photographs of women, elderly and destitute people. These pictures show her curiosity about everyday life and the traits of the people who attracted her attention. It is in her portraits that Maier approaches the other. It is worth making a distinction between the portraits of people from the lower classes - with whom she could identify - and those of people who were apparently better-off in life.In some portraits, Maier prints her own face over those of the people she is photographing. This peculiarity means her portraits also show herself, and can in short be considered not just portraits but self-portraits.


2. Self-portraits
Self-portraits formed a special part of her photographic career. She took many, many of them, as many as the possibilities of discovering who she herself was; something she returned to repeatedly and apparently obsessively. She took advantage of reflections and features she came across in her everyday life to create fantastic compositions into which she inserted herself. 

3. Formalism
This section clearly shows Maier's obsession not so much with the image in itself as with the act of photographing. She would take pictures of people, of the street, of objects and of landscapes. She sometimes gives the impression that she conceived what she photographed purely from a formal point of view - essentially, framing and balance - without worrying about her photographic discourse, giving priority in the picture to the formal features of the elements that appear in the photographs.

4. Street scenes
Memorable photographs of the architecture and city life in New York and Chicago, especially in the 50s and 60s, in particular of their working-class neighbourhoods. She simply photographed what she saw; she did not attempt to capture anything out of the ordinary, just the little things, those that were really important in defining each person or situation: a detail, a gesture, a pose, an inflection of reality turned into a story.
In her street scenes she did not enter the setting she was photographing, but remained on the threshold, on the edge. Neither close enough to interfere nor far enough to be invisible.
 
5. ChildhoodNew York 1954
Vivian Maier got on very well with children. It is no coincidence that she worked as a nanny. Childhood is a constant of vital importance running through her work and children play a leading role, whether posing individually, playing in a group or gazing at the camera.

 6. Colour photographs
From 1965 onwards, Maier started to move into colour photography, beginning to work with a Leica. The switch to a much lighter camera with the viewfinder at eye level rather than the Rolleiflex she had used up to then reinforced her visual contact with the people she was photographing. 

The selection of photographs is accompanied by another of super 8 mm films shot from 1960 onwards, allowing us to see Vivian Maier's view in motion. As in her photographs, she offers a visual experience, the result of discreet, silent observation of the world around her. There is no narrative, there are no camera movements, (the only move that could be described as cinematographic is that of the bus or metro train from which she is filming). Vivian Maier filmed what led her to the photographic image: she observed, she focused intuitively on her subject and followed it. She zoomed in with her lens to get closer from a distance and concentrate on a pose or a detail (like the legs or hands of certain people amid a crowd). The film works rather like a documentary - a man who is being arrested by the police or the damage caused by a tornado - or as an object of contemplation, like the eerie procession of sheep towards the Chicago slaughterhouses.

 

 

       New York,1954 © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY

  


ARTISTA:


 

 Self-portraitVIVIAN MAIER

 

Vivian Maier (1926-2009) worked as a nanny in New York and then Chicago, from the early fifties and then for over four decades.  

A whole life spent unnoticed until the recent discovery, in 2007, of her body of photographic work: an important, imposing and dense collection made up of over 120,000 negatives, super 8 and 16 mm films, various recordings, a few photographs and vast numbers of undeveloped films. This passion which filled her today places her among the greatest creators of Street Photography, and she figures in the history of photography alongside Diane Arbus, Robert Frank, Helen Levitt or Garry Winogrand.

 The last-minute discovery of her work, which would probably have been lost or even "disfigured", is almost a contradiction, a turnaround of fate in Vivian Maier's life, because it was this discovery that enabled this humble nanny to become, posthumously, Vivian Maier. Vivian Maier, photographer.

 Among her body of work we find recurring subjects, like street scenes, portraits of strangers and people with whom she could have identified, the world of children that was hers for so long, and then a certain taste for self-portraits: there are many of these among Vivian Meier's work, taken in different ways in infinite variations. They became almost a language within a language. A multiple personality.  In this exhibition we present an overview of her work across the major subject areas she explored throughout her life as a photographer, defining the specifics of her photographic style from the first pictures she took in the late 40s through to the 90s. Moreover, in this exhibition we present, exclusively, a selection of 30 hitherto unseen pictures from the part of her archive that consisted of over 2,500 undeveloped films which have finally been processed. Great discoveries.

 

Self-portrait © Estate of Vivian Maier, Courtesy of Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY


ACTIVITIES:

 

Free guided visits
Every Sunday

At 6:30 in Basque and at 7:30 in Spanish.

 

Family Workshops                                                                                                                                                  

Family Workshops for accompanied participants aged 5-11                                                                                      

Every Saturday from 12:00 to 13:30 hours.

Price: €3

For further information and to book activities, you can call us on 943 25 19 37 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Programmes for groups:

Guided visits

60 min

Price: €60

 

Guided visit-workshops

90 min

Price: €80

 

Programmes tailored to groups with special needs

For further information and to book activities, you can call us on 943 25 19 39 or email us at   This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


RELATED ACTIVITIES:

 

Film

26th June //  20.00

Screening of the film Finding Vivian Maier, John Maloof & Charlie Siskel, USA, 2013 (83'), in the Tabakalera cinema. Tickets available from the usual Tabakalera outlets.

 

Medium-format camera workshop with Niko Iturralde

6th July // From 10.00 to 13.30 and from 15.00 to 19.00

Different medium-format cameras will be considered, with emphasis on the model used by Vivian Maier, the Rolleiflex. The workshop includes taking photographs with these cameras and developing them.

 

Price: 50€ // Completed!

Advance registration at the venue, by telephoning 943251937 or by emailing  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Vivian Maier by Jorge Napal

5th September  //  19.00 // Completed!

Guided tour led by the social journalist Jorge Napal

Visit free, advance registration at the venue, by telephoning 943251937 or by emailing  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Vivian Maier by Tamara García

3rd October, //  18.30 Completed!

19.00 Vivian Maier by Tamara García

Visit free, advance registration at the venue, by telephoning 943251937 or by emailing  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Round table

10th October // 19.00

Curator Anne Morin and writer and translator Berta Vias Mahou, author of the book Una vida prestada [A Borrowed Life] (Lumen, 2018), will be discussing the photographer Vivian Maier in the Ruiz Balerdi room (Kutxa Kultur, on the 4th floor of Tabakalera). After the round table Berta Vias will be signing copies of her book.

In Spanish.

Free entrance subject to capacity.

 


CATALOGUE:




 FOTOLIBRO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CATALOGUE

Price: €20 (VAT inlcuded)