ELLIOT ERWITT EXHIBITION
ELLIOT ERWITT EXHIBITION
24 January – 17 February 2018
AT BEETLES+HUXLEY GALLERY
3-5 Swallow Street, London, W1B 4DE
Beetles and Huxley are hosting a new exhibition to celebrate the 90th birthday of legendary Magnum photographer Elliot Erwitt, as of 24 January.
The exhibition includes over 50 photographs, portraits and rare vintage prints from across his long career.
According to a press release, the exhibition will include two early photographs taken in New York in this formative period, in which Erwitt’s eye for composition is already evident. His first major project quickly followed in Pittsburgh in 1950, commissioned by the legendary Roy Stryker. Three recently rediscovered works from this project, further demonstrating Erwitt’s developing eye, will also be on display.
Erwitt was born in Paris in 1928 to Russian Parents, spent his childhood in Milan, then emigrated to the US with his family in 1939. He developed an interest in photography as a teenager and worked in a commercial darkroom before experimenting with photography at Los Angeles City College, and aftert moving to New York In 1948, he exchanged janitorial work for film classes at the New School for Social Research.
He traveled in France and Italy in 1949 with his trusty Rolleiflex camera and in 1951, he was drafted for military service undertaking various photographic duties while serving in a unit of the Army Signal Corps in Germany and France.
While in New York, Erwitt met Edward Steichen, Robert Capa and Roy Stryker, the former head of the Farm Security Administration. Stryker initially hired Erwitt to work for the Standard Oil Company, where he was building up a photographic library for the company, and subsequently commissioned him to undertake a project documenting the city of Pittsburgh.
Since joining Magnum in 1953, he has since become one of the world’s most successful and influential photographers and served three terms as the president of the agency.
Erwitt’s photograph of his wife, his six-day-old daughter, Ellen, and their cat, Brutus, was included in Edward Steichen’s significant photography exhibition The Family of Man in 1955 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York.
Erwitt’s photograph of his wife, his six-day-old daughter, Ellen, and their cat, Brutus, was included in Edward Steichen’s significant photography exhibition The Family of Man in 1955 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. His reputation grew as he undertook important assignments including “the kitchen cabinet debate” between President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev in 1959 and the funeral of John F. Kennedy at which he captured the president’s widow, Jackie Kennedy, in tears behind a billowing black veil. Over twenty retrospective photography books of his work have been published and he has been honoured by numerous solo shows at establishments such as the Smithsonian, the Museum of Modern Art and the Chicago Art Institute. In 2015 he was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Photography Award by the World Photography Organisation. He lives and works in New York and is still available for hire, continuing to work for a variety of journalistic and commercial outfits.