New York

Helen Levitt

Sidney Janis Gallery

When you visit Helen Levitt at the Greenwich Village apartment where she has lived for many years, she tells you that she has nothing to say. Among the things she doesn’t have to say is her age, which is impossible to guess. A petite, handsome woman with clear features, few wrinkles and quick, nervous eyes, she probably hasn’t changed much since she was a girl hanging around with Walker Evans in the late 1930s. She claims that she and Evans seldom spoke about photography. Nobody did in those days. It wasn’t a subject of any urgency then. The one thing Helen will tell you is that for 20 years she did almost no photography whatsoever. From 1950 until 1970 she undertook only one project, color photography on a Guggenheim grant in 1959, and that work was subsequently stolen. She never considered becoming a photojournalist because in the 1940s she made a trip to Mexico and hated it—hated the

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