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Helen Levitt’s striking documentary photography forms a love letter to her home turf, New York city and its vibrant communities.

Street photographer Helen Levitt (1913-2009) was known for her enigmatic images documenting New York’s poorest communities against a backdrop of depression and war. Her work is full of everyday people, places and things with an added element of theatrical finesse. The exhibition displays 130 of her photographs taken over 50 years (between the 1930s-1990s) primarily on the Lower East Side, in the Bronx and Spanish Harlem. A unique portrait of New York street life over a turbulent period of history, they provide a powerful political and social commentary, capturing the desolation of American life for New York’s poorest residents.

Helen Levitt was also one of the first photographers to exhibit colour in her work in 1974, and the exhibition explores how using colour helped to evolve her graphic language. Portraits of subway passengers, photos of early chalk drawings, vivid colour photography, plus collaborations in documentary films, and even her only set of photographs taken outside of New York (in Mexico City) will be on display, bringing together key works from the artist’s lifetime.

LondonPhotographyFilm & videoModern art

The Photographers' Gallery

16-18 Ramillies Street, London, Greater London, W1F 7LW

020 7087 9300


Opening times

Opening Times

Monday: Closed

Tuesday - Wednesday: 10.00 - 18.00

Thursday Lates: 10.00 - 20.00

Friday Lates: 10.00 - 20.00

Saturday: 10.00 - 18.00

Sunday: 11.00 - 18.00

Please note, the Gallery will be closed from and including Friday 24 Dec 2021 and re-open on Tue 4 Jan 2022. On Friday 10 Dec 2021, the Gallery will be closed to the public from 6pm.

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