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Daniel Cooney Fine Art presents NINA LEEN - LENSLADY

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26 Mar 2015 to 16 May 2015
11 – 6, Tuesday – Saturday and by appointment
Daniel Cooney Fine Art
508 West 26th Street
Suite 9C
New York, NY
NY 10001
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T: +1 212 255 8158
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Nina Leen, Tommy Tucker Dries Off After a Bath, 1944
12


Artists in this exhibition: NINA LEEN


NINA LEEN
LENSLADY

March 26 - May 16

Daniel Cooney Fine Art is pleased to present the first solo exhibition of Nina Leen's vintage photographs from her years as one of the first female contract photographers at LIFE magazine. She worked at LIFE from 1944 to 1972 until the magazine ceased weekly publication. Leen was born in Russia and lived in Switzerland, Italy and Germany before immigrating to the U.S. in 1939 at the outbreak of World War II. Although secretive about her age it is believed she was approximately 80 years old when she died in 1995 at her home in New York City.

Coined Lenslady in an article that appeared in the Los Angeles Times in 1944 she was best known as a photographer of animals, teenagers and American style. One of her most famous photographic essays from 1944 documents "Tommy Tucker", an orphaned and celebrated trained gray squirrel owned by Zaidee Bullis of Washington D.C. who dressed Tommy in a variety of over 30 homemade outfits including Red Cross Nurse and a Dutch-girl dress with apron and bonnet.

Another series from the mid 40's ran under the title City Dogs and featured noted actors, musicians and artists with their canines on the streets of New York City. Subjects included comedian Jimmy Durante with his Irish Setter in Times Square and author Fannie Hurst with her Yorkie, "Orphan Annie" in Midtown. The series is not only a loving tribute to man's best friend but also a portrait of Leen's adopted city, its people and their vibrant lives.

When asked by John Loengard to describer herself Leen responded "A journalist - a photojournalist. That means that you know when you've found a story and how to put the story into pictures. If I were only a photographer, I would have a selection of single pictures, and they would be good pictures but not a story." When looking at Leen's spectacular images of mundane subject matter, one immediately recognizes a strong surrealistic influence and great vision; you see her story, her visual language and the tone of her voice.


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