Mexico City. Helen Levitt. With an Essay by James Oles. A Doubletake Book Published by the Center For Documentary Studies in Association with W. W. Norton & Company, New York and London, 1997. Limited edition of 200 numbered copies in a special binding, signed by Levitt on the colophon. Quarto. Cloth in photo-illustrated dustjacket; publisher's cloth slipcase.
Helen Levitt spent several months in Mexico City in 1941, shortly after Batista's election and as the city was in the early stages of modernization.
That trip produced her only significant body of work done out of New York, and for this book she re-examined those old negatives and vintage prints and chose sixty-seven images, most of which had never been published or exhibited. The photographs of street life in Mexico City capture moments of joy and suffering
while depicting the often primitive conditions that still existed not far from modern construction. The essay by James Oles is interspersed with images taken by photographers who photographed the city before Levitt, including Bruehl, Strand, Bravo, Cartier-Bresson, Edward Weston and others. None of the
others had concentrated as much on the social and economic distress evident on the streets. A handsome monograph, printed in Italy.
A very fine copy in near fine cloth slipcase.