1 of 2 images

Helen Levitt
New York City (broken mirror)

1940

About

20 x 16 inch gelatin silver print, signed on verso. This is one of only a handful of prints of this iconic image that were printed in this larger size. It was usually printed in a 14 x 11 inch size. Helen Levitt was a true master of the street, one whose poetic vision, humor, and inventiveness transformed the gritty world of New York City’s poorer neighborhoods into captivating, lyrical compositions. For over 60 years, she produced images that have inspired and amazed generations of photographers, students, collectors, curators, and lovers of art in general. Born in Brooklyn in 1913, Levitt’s career began after the Great Depression. In 1936, she bought a 35mm Leica camera like that used by her mentor and hero, Henri Cartier-Bresson. Her early work recorded the transitory nature of life in the street by focusing on graffiti scrawled on sidewalks, girders, and walls. Later she directed her eye to the men, women and children she found on the streets and stoops of the neighborhoods she visited. With an angled viewfinder, she was able to photograph her fellow New Yorkers discreetly. In 1959 and 1960, with the support of two consecutive Guggenheim Foundation grants, she became an early pioneer in color photography, continuing her exploration of the daily drama on the streets. The Museum of Modern Art (New York) hosted the first major museum exhibition of Levitt’s work in 1943; a second solo show of her color work followed in 1974. Major retrospectives of her work followed at many other museums: joint exhibitions in 1991 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; in 1997 at the International Center for Photography in New York; in 2001 at the Centre National de la Photographie in Paris; in 2007 at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris; in 2008 at the Sprengel Museum in Hanover, where she was awarded the Spectrum International Photography Prize; and a major retrospective at the FOAM Museum (Amsterdam) in 2008. Most recently, Levitt’s work has been on exhibit at the Telfair Museum in Savannah (2014) and at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta (2015).

Details

  • Condition
    Excellent. This work is offered here unframed. If framing is desired, please contact the gallery for available options (at an additional cost)..
  • Dimensions

    H 20 in. x W 16 in.

    H 50.8 cm x W 40.64 cm

  • Gallery location
    New York, NY
  • Reference number
    LU3022854993

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