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22.11.2011 - 12.02.2012

Violence, traffic accidents, fires and other catastrophes were his specialty.
Photographs shot from a close distance were his trademark: Nocturnal figures on the streets of New York City blinded by his flash.
His spectacular images with different cameras, famousness gained his 4x5 inch Speed Graphic camera, were frequently published in popular tabloid newspapers of the time. The images present in their entirety a very important historic document in the genre of street photography. The images gave inspiration to many famous artists, such as Stanley Kubrick, Diane Arbus and Andy Warhol.
Long overdue, WestLicht is presenting the first retrospective of Weegee’s work in Vienna. The exhibition will show approximately 250 original vintage prints by the photographer, born in 1899 as Usher Fellig, they mirror the everyday reality of the urban working classes during the mid- 20th century.
Additionally WestLicht will present a selection of books, such as Naked City, Weegee’s first own publication, showing the variety of his oeuvre. Published in 1945 and celebrated as a photographic sensation, the book has become the most important and influential photographic book on New York.
The voyeuristic character of society seems to be the actual subject of many of Weegee’s images. He captured them looking on, gawking at the scenes of murders and violent incidents, poverty and homelessness, riots, parades, film premieres and stage shows. Next to this voyeurism, the sensitive documentary style is what discerns Weegee’s reportages from many of his contemporaries. His work seems like criticism of the myth of a society without class borders and the predominant racism in American society.
The exhibition is shown in cooperation with Auer Photo Foundation, Hermance, Switzerland.


WEEGEE, around 1936
Their first Murder

A mob came running down the street, trailing a hysterical woman, one of the relatives of the murdered punk. Kids, neighbours from that impoverished section ran after the screaming woman. Her grief was the real story of the murder – her grief in the middle of a gang of mocking, laughing kids. If I wanted a mood, I had it there. Weegee's Creative Camera, 1959

© WEEGEE/ICP, around 1940
Murder In Hell's Kitchen

WEEGEE, around 1941
In the paddy wagon

WEEGEE, around 1940
An accident at Hotel St. Denis

WEEGEE, um 1940
Car accident in front of the Tudor cinema

WEEGEE, around 1940
Children's hour

WEEGEE, around 1939
Bowery shelter for the homeless

WEEGEE, around 1939
Brooklyn, victims of a fire

WEEGEE, around 1943
In the limousine after an evening at the Met

WEEGEE, Ende 1930
Manche mögen den Rhythmus der Tomtoms

WEEGEE, um 1932

WEEGEE, um 1940
Konzert in Harlem

WEEGEE, um 1939
"New York is a friendly town"

WEEGEE, um 1937
Sommer, Lower East Side

WEEGEE, 1950er
Salvador Dali (1904-1989)

WEEGEE, um 1940