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HELEN LEVITT (born 1913)
PROPERTY OF PRIVATE COLLECTORS, LOS ANGELES
HELEN LEVITT (born 1913)

New York

Details
HELEN LEVITT (born 1913) New York Gelatin silver print. Circa 1942. Signed, titled and dated in pencil on the verso. 6¼ x 9in. (15.9 x 22.9cm.) Framed.
Provenance
From the artist;
with Brent Sikkema/Wooster Gardens, New York;
Private collection, New York;
to the present owners.
Literature
See: Levitt and Agee, A Way of Seeing, pl. 7; Phillips and Hambourg, Helen Levitt, p. 8; Hambourg, The New Vision, Photography Between the World Wars, pl. 28 (there titled Three Kids on a Stoop and dated 1940).

Lot Essay

In Looking at Photographs, John Szarkowski observes, "Her photographs were not intended to tell a story or document a social thesis: she worked in poor neighborhoods because there were people there, and a street life that was richly sociable and visually interesting. Levitt's pictures report no unusual happenings: most of them show the games of the children, the errands and conversations of the middle-aged, and the observant waiting of the old. What is remarkable about the photographs is that these immemorially routine acts of life, practiced everywhere and always, are revealed as being full of grace, drama, humor, pathos, and surprise, and also that they are filled with the qualities of art, as though the street were a stage, and its people were all actors and actresses, mimes, orators, and dancers." (op. cit., p. 138.)

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