Louis Faurer, "Sisters", New York, 1948, printed 1980, gelatin silver print, 14x11’. Courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery, NYC.

Louis Faurer, “Sisters”, New York, 1948, printed 1980, gelatin silver print, 14×11’. Courtesy of Howard Greenberg Gallery, NYC.

Louis Faurer

“My eyes search for people who are grateful for life, people who forgive and whose doubts have been removed, who understand the truth, whose enduring spirit is bathed by such piercing white light as to provide their present and future with hope.”

– Louis Faurer, October 2, 1979

Louis Faurer is best known for gritty but humane pictures of everyday people in the street, particularly those made in the 1940s and 1950s in New York’s Times Square. As Faurer recounted thirty years later, “1946 to 1951 were important years. I photographed almost daily and the hypnotic dusk light led me to Times Square. Several nights of photographing in that area and developing and printing in Robert Frank’s darkroom became a way of life.” One of those Times Square images is shown here and is one of two pictures that Faurer made of female twins in downtown New York, the other was first published in Flair magazine’s 1950 September issue.

Louis Faurer (1916-2001) began his photography career after winning a weekly photography contest in the Philadelphia Evening Public Ledger. A few months later he was convinced to pursue photography as a career. He began his career serving as a civilian photography technician for the U.S. Army Signal Corps in Philadelphia during World War II. Later, with the help of photographer Lillian Bassman he embarked on a career as a fashion photographer working for noted magazines such as Junior Bazaar, Flair, Glamour, Harper’s Baazar, Look, Mademoiselle, Marie Claire, Seventeen and Vogue. In 1948 and 1955 Edward Steichen included Faurer’s work in an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York called “Todays Photography” and “Family of Man”. Later in 1959, the first solo show of Faurer’s personal work was held at the Helen Gees Limelight Gallery in New York. Shortly after that he began working as a movie stills photographer in Hollywood before moving to Paris in 1969, where he would then live and work for 5 years. After returning to the United States permanently, Faurer continued to pursue his personal work accepting grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1978,1981, and 1982. He was awarded the Guggenheim fellowship in 1979. Since his death in 2001, many galleries across the world have held exhibitions of his work, including, Howard Greenberg Gallery (NYC), Track Artwork Factory (Paris), Flo Peters Gallery (Hamburg, Germany), and Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia, PA) among others.