(This book is the first in 15 years to present the largely...)
This book is the first in 15 years to present the largely overlooked work of Philadelphia-born, New York–based photographer Louis Faurer, who depicted the melancholy streets of New York in the 1940s and ’50s, and whom Walter Hopps described as a "master of his medium."
He studied at public schools, Philadelphia.
Louis Faurer showed an early aptitude for illustration. He bought his first camera in 1937 from the photographer Ben Somoroff. After a couple of jobs as a photographic technician, Louis Faurer made his way to Manhattan and into the world of fashion photography.
Louis Faurer did fashion photography for Vogue, Junior Bazaar, Harper's Bazaar, Mademoiselle, Elle, and Glamour, as well as assignments for Life and Look for more than twenty years. Louis Faurer experimented with blur, grain, double exposures, sandwiched negatives, reflections, slow film speeds, and low lighting. In the mid- and late 1960s he experimented with hand-held 16 mm film, using Arriflex and Beaulieu movie cameras, filming in the streets of Manhattan, extending his still camera style into a cinematic medium.
Between 1969 and 1974 Louis Faurer lived and worked abroad, mostly in Paris. From the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s, he taught at numerous art schools and universities, including the Parsons School of Design in New York City, Yale University, the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, The New School for Social Research and Stockton State College in New Jersey.
In 1984, while running to catch a New York city bus, Faurer was struck by a car and seriously injured. Louis Faurer never photographed again.
Quotations: "As long as I’m amazed and astonished, as long as I feel that events, messages, expressions and movements are all shot through with the miraculous, I’ll feel filled with the certainty I need to keep going."
Louis Faurer is a member of Society for Photographic Education, Artists Equity Association of New York and Visual Artists & Galleries Association, New York.
Quotes from others about the person
As Robert Frank said in 1994: "Faurer ... proves to be an extraordinary artist. His eye is on the pulse [of New York City] - the lonely "Times-Square people" for whom Faurer felt a deep sympathy. Every photograph is witness to the compassion and obsession accompanying his life like a shadow. I am happy that these images survive while the world keeps changing."
The late Walter Hopps, who was curator of American art at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian's National Collection of Fine Arts, commented on Faurer's work: "I am in awe of the high point he can reach in a photograph such as Family, Times Square, at the center of New York in the center of our century. Perhaps no other American image stands comparison with Picasso’s Family of Saltimbanques, on their imagined European plane in 1905….Faurer stands and lives as a master of his medium."