Vivian Maier, Grasping the Unexpected
Alongside the Vivian Maier retrospective at the Musée du Luxembourg, Les Douches la Galerie presents a new solo show from November 17, 2021 to February 5, 2022. Mostly unreleased, in color and black and white, the selected prints reflect her wanderings through the city, from the early 1950s in New York to the late 1970s in Chicago.
Opening on November 17th from 6 to 9pm
Very often during my life, I’ve had a feeling about something or expected an unexpected event, sensed it, ready to pounce the moment it peeped out. That’s what adventure is. You have to ignore all of your past, all attachments, stay in your own zone - that’s why you’re there and not somewhere else.
Annie Girardot, Ma vie contre la tienne [My Life For Yours], 1993
Since 2013, Les Douches la Galerie has represented Vivian Maier’s work, which is exceptional for its form, scope and history. At that time, her first solo exhibition at the Galerie coincided with a projection of the documentary Finding Vivian Maier and an exhibition at the Jeu de Paume in Tours. Those initial openings onto her work revealed the edifying forays in black and white she made in New York in the early 1950s.
Later on, the progress of discovering her large corpus and the subsequent publication of other works steered Les Douches la Galerie to focus on her works in colour (Color Works, 2019), which she developed on her stay in Chicago in 1956, and her masterful work in self-portraiture (Autoportraits, 2015 and Vivian Maier, Self-Portraits, 2020) that spans her whole life.
Various group exhibitions have also fostered a comparison of her work with that of other Galerie artists. Some explore emblematic cities (New York, 2015, Chicago Eyes, 2015, and Black Chicago, 2018), while others bring her photographic path together with those of photographers such as Berenice Abbott (Une fantastique passion, 2016). Bolstered by the breadth of her work, our dedication to promoting exceptional, fascinating and controversial photographs is constantly renewed.
For her fifth solo exhibition, which is presented in parallel with a retrospective at the Musée du Luxembourg, Les Douches la Galerie has brought together a selection of iconic images and new prints, signature subjects as well as sidesteps.
The selection covers the grand themes that Maier favoured, impertinent portraits, incongruous details and the play of reflections, but also curiosities, more abstract, sober compositions that nevertheless betray her usual great finesse. From sharp humour captured in the streets to the calm poetry of a ray of light, her diverse body of work is resolutely, infinitely rich.