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Louis Faurer's photographs of city life are closer to poetry than to journalism. For more than 50 years, instead of photographing significant events, well-known personalities, or famous sites, Faurer focused on life on the streets, particularly in New York and Philadelphia. He portrayed his subjects with great clarity, and he interpreted them with tenderness, wit, and empathy.
Using a small camera that enabled him to work quickly, Faurer developed a radical aesthetic style that reflected the energy of New York City street life, even as it isolated distinctive individuals and small groups of people.
Although scholars, artists, and critics recognize Faurer (who died in March 2001 at age 84) as a major influence in the postwar street-photography movement in New York, he is not widely known by the public. Louis Faurer: A Photographic Retrospective—the first survey of Faurer's work in the United States since 1981—provides a long-overdue look at Faurer's productive career. Featured are 137 photographs spanning the years 1937 to 1983, with a special emphasis on Faurer's highly innovative photographs from 1947 to 1951.
Louis Faurer was born and raised in South Philadelphia. He attended Philadelphia's School of Commercial Art and Lettering from 1937 to 1940 and began his career in photography in the city.