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Helen Levitt (Photofile)

Jean-François Chevrier


A compact survey of the work of 20th-century photographer Helen Levitt, best known for her New York street photography


Brooklyn-born photographer Helen Levitt (1913–2009) was an assistant to Walker Evans and a friend of Henri Cartier-Bresson, but forged her own path with fierce independence and endless curiosity about the world around her. She is best known for her street photography, capturing children at play on the streets of Depression-era New York and chalk drawings on walls, but she also cast her eye upon the adult world, seeking out moments of movement, transience and theatricality.

Following her first solo exhibition at MoMA in 1943, she devoted more than a decade to filmmaking, but returned to photography in the late 1950s and began to work in colour as well as black and white. Lyrical and witty, her images reveal the streets of New York as flowing with life and unexpected poetry.


'Witty, spellbinding images'
i magazine

'There aren’t too many books of Helen Levitt’s work, so this new publication is a welcome reminder of what we’ve been missing … what comes through, though, in all the pictures, is that powerful connection Levitt had with the people in front of her camera … Looking at her work is a very pleasant experience indeed'
Amateur Photographer

Product Information

Book Details

Format: Paperback with flaps

Size: 19.0 x 12.5 cm

Extent: 144 pp

Publication date: 29 July 2021

ISBN: 9780500411193

Contents List

Introduction • c. 60 photographs

About the Author

Jean-François Chevrier is an art historian, art critic and exhibition curator. He is Professor in the History of Contemporary Art at the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris.