Helen Levitt, photographer of New York « Adventures in the Tulgey Wood

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Helen Levitt, photographer of New York

Der Economist hat diese Woche einen Nachruf auf die Fotografin
Helen Levitt (1913-2009), die sich vor allem mit den Straßen New Yorks beschäftigt hat – vorwiegend in den ärmeren Vierteln. Ihr großes Vorbild war Henri Cartier-Bresson:

She had been inspired to use a 35mm Leica by Henri Cartier-Bresson, no less, after trailing him one day in 1935 as he took photographs round the wharves of Brooklyn. He became a great admirer of her work. She thought any comparison of herself with him was ridiculous.

Her pictures were mostly of Spanish Harlem and the Lower East Side. She shot them in black and white, as silver gelatin prints, in the 1930s and 1940s and in colour dye-transfer prints in the 1960s and 1970s. In between, she got into movie-making for a while. Her theme was the same, the streets of New York. Apart from a trip in 1941 to Mexico City, she never found a better subject in her life.

Einen schönen Ausschnitt aus ihrem Werk (mit ebenfalls lesenswertem Begleittext) zeigt diese Galerie bei Lensculture, die am Rand des Economist-Artikels verlinkt ist: Helen Levitt.
Schriftsteller James Agee wird dort mit der Aussage zitiert:

At least a dozen of Helen Levitt’s photographs seem to me as beautiful, perceptive, satisfying, and enduring as any lyrical work that I know.

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