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Vivian Maier: Photographs from the Maloof Collection @ Merry Karnowsky Gallery


Vivian Maier: Photographs from the Maloof Collection opened Saturday January 16th at the Merry Karnowsky Gallery in Downtown LA. Maier is noted as being one of the most iconic street photographers of the 20th century, having only come to the attention of the mainstream art world after her negatives were discovered by John Maloof at an auction house in Chicago in 2007.

Maier took more than 2,000 rolls of film and produced tens of thousands of negatives focused on street photography and architecture from destinations including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, the American Southwest as well as Manila, Bangkok, Beijing, Egypt, and Italy.

Having worked as a nanny most of her adult life, Maier was described by those she cared for as “a free spirit, but also a proud soul” - “a quasi Mary Poppins figure.” Although Maier became impoverished towards the end of her life, several children she'd once cared for pooled their resources together and paid for an apartment, and other necessities for Maier in her later years. Unbeknownst to them, a storage locker that contained a slew of negatives taken by Maier had been secretly hidden away.

The Maloof collection is comprised of roughly 90% of Vivian Maier’s work, which has been meticulously reconstructed, archived and catalogued. The collection consists of 100,000+ negatives, vintage 'lifetime' prints, hundreds of rolls of film, home movies, audio-tape interviews, cameras, documents and various other items.

Vivian Maier: Photographs from the Maloof Collection exhibits a selection of over 65 exclusive and existing photographs, including modern silver gelatin prints in limited edition of 15, modern color prints, and a rare selection of vintage ‘lifetime’ prints. There will also be a special display of ephemera on view including cameras and other personal items of the artist's.

Maier died in 2009 at the age of 83, before the extent of her legacy had been fully understood or revealed.

Vivian Maier: Photographs from the Maloof Collection is on view at the Merry Karnowsky Gallery between now, and February 27th.