Elliott Erwitt: Personal Best

New York

11 January — 23 February 2007

New York, 1955

Huntsville, Alabama, 1974

Venice, Italy, 1965

Brasilia, Brazil, 1961

Motel Room, Texas, USA, 1962

Wyoming, USA, 1954

New York City, 1999

Moscow, USSR, 1957

Prado Museum, Madrid, 1995

Paris, France, 1970

Managua, Nicaragua, 1957

New York, 1974

New York, 1969

Israel, 1962

New Hampshire, USA, 1958

Versailles, France, 1974

Fort Dix, New Jersey, 1951

Miami Beach, Florida, 1962

Pasadena, California, 1963

Berlin, Germany, 1995

Hollywood, California, 1956

New Orleans, Louisiana, 1950

Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1972

Nikita Khrushchev and Richard Nixon, Moscow, 1959

Idaho, USA, 1954

Las Vegas, Nevada, 1954

Tuscany, Italy, 1949

Finland, 2001

New York City, 1955

Santa Monica, California, 1955

Valencia, Spain, 1952

Grace Kelly, New York City, 1955

Paris, France, 1989

Arkansas, 1954

Kent, England, 1968

Press Release

A photographer since 1948 and a member of the prestigious Magnum Photo Agency since 1953, Elliott Erwitt is a keen observer of subjects ranging from major socio-political developments to young lovers in the midst of fledgling romance. Maintaining his pledge, “to capture things that are,” Erwitt’s photography stands as a monument to the humanist tradition taken up by Magnum and its founder, Henri Cartier-Bresson. Embodying both a documentarian, and humoristic impulse, Erwitt’s photographs yield a certain wit, charm, and melancholia. Erwitt states, “Some people say my pictures are sad, some think they’re funny. Funny and sad, aren’t they really the same thing?”

Born on July 26, 1928, in Paris, France, Elliott Erwitt spent his childhood in Milan. His family returned to Paris in 1938 and immigrated to New York the following year. His interest in photography began as a teenager living in Hollywood, California. While a student at Hollywood High School, Erwitt began working in a commercial darkroom developing celebrity portraiture. In 1948, Erwitt moved to New York where he met Magnum photographers: Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker. As a young member of this elite photographic milieu, Erwitt’s professional career blossomed.

Elliott Erwitt has participated in a variety of one-person exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world including: The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The Smithsonian Institution; The Art Institute of Chicago; Zurich's Kunsthaus; and Cologne's Photokina. Elliott Erwitt has published over 15 books including Personal Exposure (Norton and Company, 1988), Snaps (Phaidon, 2001), and his most recent, Personal Best (TeNeus, 2006). In tandem with multiple terms as President of the Magnum Photo Agency, Erwitt continues to be one of the leading photographers of his generation.