Untitled (Two Boys Running in the Street)

Ann Treer Hungarian

Not on view

Treer came of age in Europe during World War II and her early life was shaped by displacement and exile, imbuing her photographic work with a distinct outsider’s perspective. Born in Vienna in 1922, she studied English at a girls’ college in Prague until the Nazi occupation in 1938, after which she relocated to Budapest with her Hungarian-born father. Following the Russian occupation of Hungary, she was displaced to Italy, then immigrated to Australia with her first husband and found work as a commercial photographer. She eventually settled with her mother in New York City, where she studied with the American photographers Sid Grossman and David Vestal, whom she married. Treer later wrote that she learned photographic printing “the hard way—at night, with bathroom setups, driven by the principle of ‘high craftsmanship or bust.’”

Treer’s street photographs of the 1950s and 1960s are lyrical, moody, and atmospheric, similar in style to the work of other New York School photographers, such as Bruce Davidson, Louis Faurer, and Lisette Model. This photograph of a pair of teenage boys racing across a rain-soaked city street beautifully captures the crackling chaotic energy of New York at night.

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