New York

Vivian Maier, Chicago, 1959, C-print, 10 × 15".

Vivian Maier

Howard Greenberg Gallery

The photographer Vivian Maier is well known by now, at least in the storybook outlines of her career: Seen during her lifetime mostly as an eccentric live-in Chicago nanny who for some reason always carried a camera, she was revealed after her death—in 2009, at the age of eighty-three—as a photographer of grand authority. Though she is already the subject of two biographies and two movies, much about her life remains obscure, but her tale is best told by her images—more than 150,000 of them—discovered posthumously and now working their way into the public eye. Ignored in life, cherished in death, in some way permanently enigmatic—it’s a mythic bohemian trope. But this fact doesn’t undercut the value of the work.

The pictures that made Maier’s name are in black and white; the twenty-three in this exhibition, taken beginning in the 1950s but mostly in the ’70s, were in color, and the show

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