PARIS.- Magnum Gallery
in Saint Germain des Prés will present Paris, an exhibition of a selection of photographs by Elliott Erwitt. Paris will run parallel to another display of his work, Personal Best, at the European house of Photography in Paris and coincide with the appearance of a new edition of the eponymous book.
Paris represents a spontaneous selection of images which are relatively unknown to the larger public as they never were treated as a series in Elliotts publications. The subtle touch which is prevalent in these photographs as they delicately capture flashes of moments in ordinary peoples lives, reveals a photographer whose most precious gift is being a humanist, a careful catcher of the human soul.
The woman with the mirror, the dreamlike images of children with Laurel and Hardy masks, the ballrooms, the streets, the circus scenes all these images reflect memories of Paris during the 1950s, captured with this unique blend of melancholic poetry and light-footed humour which Elliott Erwitt so beautifully made his own.
Elliott Erwitt (b. 26 July 1928 Paris, France) is an advertising and documentary photographer known for his black and white candid shots of ironic and absurd situations within everyday settings -- the master of the "indecisive moment".
At the age of ten, Erwitt emigrated to the United States with his family. Erwitt studied photography and filmmaking at the Los Angeles City College and the New School for Social Research, finishing his education in 1950.
Born in Paris of Russian immigrant parents, Erwitt served as a photographer's assistant in the 1950's in the United States Army while stationed in France and Germany. Erwitt was influenced by his meeting the famous photographers, Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker. Stryker, the former Director of the Farm Security Administration's photography department, hired Erwitt to work on a photography project for the Standard Oil Company. Erwitt then began a freelance photographer career and produced work for Collier's, Look, Life and Holiday magazines. Joining the Magnum Photos agency in 1953 allowed Erwitt to shoot photography projects around the world.
Since the 1970s, he has devoted much of his energy toward movies. His feature films, television commercials, and documentary films include Beauty Knows No Pain (1971), Red, White and Bluegrass (1973) and the prize-winning Glassmakers of Herat, Afghanistan (1977).
The exhibition opens on February 4 and runs through March 13, 2010.