Riccione showcases more than ninety shots of Vivian Maier, the nanny photographer

On display in Riccione from April 20 to November 3, 2024 over ninety shots by Vivian Maier, the great American photographer who spent her entire life in total anonymity until 2007, when her body of photographs taken on the streets of New York and Chicago came to light.

From April 20 to November 3, 2024, the exhibition Vivian Maier. The Portrait and its Double, curated by Anne Morin with Alberto Rossetti, promoted by the Municipality of Riccione and organized by Civita Exhibitions and Museums in collaboration with diChroma photography and Rjma Progetti Culturali. The exhibition is dedicated to the great American photographer who spent her entire life in total anonymity until 2007, when her body of photographs, taken on the streets of New York and Chicago, came to light.

On display are 92 shots through which the art of Vivian Maier, one of the most acclaimed exponents of street photography, is intended to be told to the public. 92 shots taken first with a Rolleiflex camera and then with a Leica and some videos shot in Super8 ideally transport visitors to the streets of New York and Chicago, where the continuous play of shadows and reflections show the presence-absence of the artist who, with her self-portraits, tries to relate to the world around her. The shots tell the story of her life in total anonymity until 2007, when her immense and impressive work, consisting of more than one hundred and twenty thousand negatives, Super 8mm and 16mm footage, various audio recordings, printed photographs and hundreds of undeveloped rolls of film, was discovered by John Maloof, a photographer by passion and a real estate agent by profession, who purchased them, saving them from oblivion and revealing to the world Vivian Maier’s immense photographic legacy. Through that find a “simple nanny” became a great photographer after her passing. Throughout her work there are recurring themes: street scenes, portraits of anonymous strangers and people with whom she might have identified, the world of children, but an obvious predilection for self-portraits emerges. She herself appears in many shots, with a multitude of forms and variations. Reflections of her face in a mirror, her shadow stretching across the ground, the outline of her figure: each of Vivian Maier’s self-portraits is an affirmation of her presence in that particular place, at that particular time. A recurring feature that has become a signature in her self-portraits is the shadow, which has the ability to make present what is absent.

The exhibition explores Vivian Maier’s theme of self-portraiture from her early work through the late twentieth century. Her aesthetic pursuits can be traced to three key categories, which correspond to the three sections of the exhibition, set up after a biographical introduction.

The first is entitled The Shadow. Vivian Maier adopted this technique using the projection of her own silhouette. It is probably the most recognizable of all the types of formal research she used. The shadow is the form closest to reality; it is a simultaneous copy. It is the first level of a self-representation, since it imposes a presence without revealing anything of what it represents. Through The Reflection, to which the second section is devoted, the photographer succeeds in adding something new to photography with the idea of self-representation; she employs different and elaborate ways to place herself on the boundary between the visible and the invisible, the recognizable and the unrecognizable. Her features are blurred, something interposes itself in front of her face, opens on an off-screen or transforms before our eyes. His face escapes us but not the certainty of his presence at the moment the image is captured. Each photograph is itself an act of resistance to his invisibility. Finally, the section devoted to the Mirror, an object that often appears in Vivian Maier’s images. It is fragmented or placed in front of another mirror or positioned in such a way that her face is projected onto other mirrors, in an endless cascade. It is the instrument through which the artist confronts her own gaze.

The exhibition thus aims to celebrate not only the talent of a great artist, but also to invite the public to reflect on the beauty of the everyday and the art of capturing the ephemeral.

“The exhibition dedicated to Vivian Maier is part of the great season of culture and exhibition events that is bringing some of the biggest names in photography and the international art scene to Riccione. After the great success of the Robert Capa retrospective, Riccione is hosting another extraordinary event dedicated to photography and the talent of one of the most acclaimed representatives of street photography. Vivian Maier spent her entire life in total anonymity in which she captured and fixed with her lens scenes and characters of common life in the streets of New York and Chicago. In this anonymity she cultivated her talent, she was able to capture the essence of common life in which she also wanted to represent herself, in such an extraordinary and modern way, and assert her own existence. We are proud to say that Riccione, with its historic residences of Villa Mussolini and Villa Franceschi and with an ambitious and appreciated cultural programming, is increasingly confirming itself as a venue for important exhibition events, capable of transforming the city into a year-round tourist and cultural destination,” says Sandra Villa, deputy mayor and councillor for Culture of the Municipality of Riccione.

Hours: From April 20 to June 23, 2024, Tuesday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. From June 25 to September 8, 2024, daily from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 10 to Nov. 3, 2024, Tuesday to Friday 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday, Sunday and holidays 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed all non-holiday Mondays.

For info and reservations: www.civita.art

Image: Self-Portrait, Chicago, 1956 © Estate of Vivian Maier. Courtesy of Maloof Collection and Howard Greenberg Gallery, NY

Riccione showcases more than ninety shots of Vivian Maier, the nanny photographer
Riccione showcases more than ninety shots of Vivian Maier, the nanny photographer

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