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Helen Levitt
Photographer

Helen Levitt’s playful and poetic photographs, made over the course of sixty years on the streets of New York City, have delighted generations of photographers, students, collectors, curators, and lovers of art in general. The New York Times described her as: “a major photographer of the 20th century who caught fleeting moments of surpassing lyricism, mystery and quiet drama on the streets of her native New York”. Throughout her long career, Helen Levitt’s photographs have consistently reflected her poetic vision, humor, and inventiveness as much as they have honestly portrayed her subjects – men, women, and children acting out a daily drama on the sidewalks and stoops of New York City’s tenements.

She shot and edited the film In the Street with Janice Loeb and James Agee, providing a moving portrait of her still photography. Levitt’s first major museum exhibition was at the Museum of Modern Art in 1943, and a second solo show, of color work only, was held there in 1974. Major retrospectives of her work have been held at several museums: first in 1991, jointly 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; and in 2001 at the Centre National la Photographie in Paris.

In 2007 “Helen Levitt: Un Art de l’accident poetique” opened at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris; in 2008, the Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany chose Ms. Levitt as the recipient for the Spectrum International Photography Prize which was accompanied by a major retrospective; and FOAM Museum Amsterdam, mounted another major retrospective in October, 2008. She was a 2008 recipient of the Francis Greenburger award for excellence in the arts.

Helen Levitt
Photographer

Helen Levitt’s playful and poetic photographs, made over the course of sixty years on the streets of New York City, have delighted generations of photographers, students, collectors, curators, and lovers of art in general. The New York Times described her as: “a major photographer of the 20th century who caught fleeting moments of surpassing lyricism, mystery and quiet drama on the streets of her native New York”. Throughout her long career, Helen Levitt’s photographs have consistently reflected her poetic vision, humor, and inventiveness as much as they have honestly portrayed her subjects – men, women, and children acting out a daily drama on the sidewalks and stoops of New York City’s tenements.

She shot and edited the film In the Street with Janice Loeb and James Agee, providing a moving portrait of her still photography. Levitt’s first major museum exhibition was at the Museum of Modern Art in 1943, and a second solo show, of color work only, was held there in 1974. Major retrospectives of her work have been held at several museums: first in 1991, jointly 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; and in 2001 at the Centre National la Photographie in Paris.

In 2007 “Helen Levitt: Un Art de l’accident poetique” opened at the Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson in Paris; in 2008, the Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany chose Ms. Levitt as the recipient for the Spectrum International Photography Prize which was accompanied by a major retrospective; and FOAM Museum Amsterdam, mounted another major retrospective in October, 2008. She was a 2008 recipient of the Francis Greenburger award for excellence in the arts.

RELATED ARTICLES
Paris Photo 2023
November 9–12, 2023
Paris Photo is the largest art fair dedicated to the photographic medium and is held each November in the...
+
The Shadow Pandemic
Artpil / Prescription .121
This other virus, which has existed for a far greater period of time and whose rate of contagion is...
+
International Women’s Day / 2020
March 8, 2020
Often our better halves, and without whom we could not be, we renew our commitment to engage. Once again,...
+
Thirty Years of Women
February 7 – April 11, 2020
This exhibit draws from Jackson Fine Art’s 30 year history of showing some of the most distinguished female voices...
+
Observing New York’s Streets
Helen Levitt / Rencontres d’Arles
Funny, incongruous, vibrant and resolutely human, these scenes out on the streets of New York, put next to one...
+
Photo London 2019
May 16–19, 2019 / Somerset House
Photo London is a place to encounter the most innovative emerging artists and new works by established masters, comprised...
+
Saul Leiter / Retrospektive
Publication / exhibition
This long-awaited new edition of the book, first published in 2012, features, in addition to his early images, his...
+
Interview with Saul Leiter
By David Gibson
"History of art is a history of great things neglected and ignored and mediocre things being admired. At different...
+
Chris Dorley-Brown / The Corners
January 5 – March 2, 2019
The artist, Chris Dorley-Brown, sets up the camera in one location, and tilts and pans around the cityscape to...
+
Dr. Blankman’s New York / Tod Papageorge
Sep 8 – Nov 21, 2018
In vivid images of window displays, political posters and encounters in the city, this New York series captures the...
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  • Patrick Weldé: Freiheit
    Publication
    Goswell Road
    International
    On the occasion of our exhibition with Weldé at CFAlive Milan L’AMOUR TOUJOURS, we publish a new edition of the previously sold-out book that we produced with Weldé in 2017, FREIHEIT. All of the photographs in FREIHEIT were taken by Weldé on disposable cameras between 2011-2015. They show a tender side to the artist and his friend circle, and the purest form of trust. (more…)
  • Fumi Nagasaka: Dora, Yerkwood, Walker County, Alabama
    Publication
    Gost
    International
    During the 2016 US Presidential elections Japanese photographer, Fumi Nagasaka, became intrigued by the rural and southern USA. She had lived in New York City for a decade but despite travelling the world, had yet to visit the rest of the US. All this changed when her friend, Tanya Rouse, invited her to her hometown of Dora, Alabama. Nagasaka continued to visit Dora over several years, gradually building a photographic archive of her visits. (more…)
  • Anu Põder: Space for My Body
    Jan 3 – Jun 30, 2024
    Muzeum Susch
    Susch, Switzerland
    Anu Põder (1947-2013) is one of Estonia’s most revelatory voices of the last five decades. Her work has stood out since the 1970s as uniquely crafted, originally conceived, and deeply personal. Yet, because it was somehow out of sync with the then established art landscape in Estonia, it has been overlooked for many years. Põder is known for exploring the human body, highlighting the fragility, impermanence, and ephemerality of life (more…)