Event Coverage: “Vivian Maier: Photographs from the Maloof Collection” at KP Projects

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John Maloof

KP Projects opened Vivian Maier: Photographs from the Maloof Collection, with an opening reception on Saturday July 15th. Cartwheel Art contributor Melinda Sanchez, was there and captured these photos from the event.

From KP Projects; The story of Vivian Maier and her extraordinary body of photographic works is both compelling for its personal viewpoints as much as her innate ability to capture nostalgic moments of bygone eras. Unearthed by John Maloof in 2007 at a local auction house in Chicago, Vivian Maier continues to cultivate notoriety as one of the most iconic street photographers of the 20th century. Maier’s body of work spans not only the US, but the globe, shooting more than 100,000 negatives depicting the street life of New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, the American Southwest, as well as destinations as far off as Manila, Bangkok, Beijing, Egypt, and Italy.

The exhibition was hosted by actor and photographer Tim Roth, who was in attendance at the opening reception. John Maloof of the Maloof collection was also in attendance.

Invested in her bird’s eye view of the people who made industrious cities thrive and pulse for decades, Maier captures the poignant moments of individuals and their urban cultural existence. The signage and details within Maier’s purposefully framed stills reveal a country on the verge of social and political upheaval, and serve as records of historic landmarks, and their demolition, as developments were built to replace them.

With an uncanny ability to capture the right frame at exactly the right moment, with elements of lighting, movement and composition all in harmonious balance, Maier’s perceptive instinct is made even more remarkable by the fact that she seldom shot more than one picture of the same image. Featured for the first time, is a selection of the photographer’s contact sheets revealing Maier’s successive process of capturing extraordinary photographs using analog, pre-digital technique. It’s been said that the contact sheet ‘is a repository that can reveal a photographer’s fallibility and greatness’. In the case of Vivian Maier, we will be witnesses to the latter.

Having worked as a nanny for most of her adult life, Maier was described as an intensely private person who kept most of her work hidden under lock and key. Maier also indulged her passion for documenting the world around her through homemade films, recordings, and collections. At the end of her life, Maier became impoverished, but several children she had cared for pooled their money together and paid for an apartment and other necessities in her later years. Maier died in 2009 at the age of 83, before the extent of her legacy had been fully understood or revealed.

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. This exhibition will showcase a selection of 74 modern gelatin silver prints limited to an edition of 15, including twenty new, never before seen images, modern color prints, and gelatin silver contact sheets available to collectors for the first time. The exhibition also showcase’s an exclusive selection of personal ephemera including cameras and personal belongings of the artist for viewing on the second floor of the gallery at Launch LA.

Finding Vivian Maier, the critically acclaimed 2014 documentary film directed by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel was officially selected for numerous international film festivals including Palm Springs, Berlin, Rio de Janeiro, Miami and Toronto, and ultimately garnered an Academy Award nomination for best documentary. Monographs of Maier’s work include Vivian Maier: Street Photographer, published in 2011, and Vivian Maier: Self Portraits, published in 2014, both by Powerhouse Books. Most recently, Vivian Maier: A Photographer Found, is the largest and most in-depth collection of Maier’s work to date.

Vivian Maier: Photographs from the Maloof Collection
July 15th – August 26th

170 South La Brea
Los Angeles, CA 90036

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