It has been said that Elliott Erwitt makes pictures that affirm the camera's capacity for observation. With an affecting social stance, a love of the dramatic gesture, and an outsider's role of observation, he is the archetype of the mid-century peripatetic photojournalist. The global flâneur, with a camera lens for an eye, Erwitt has chronicled the social landscape of Europe and the Americas for years. His photographs encapsulate the moments and the situations of the world around us as they arise in our daily lives. He looks frankly toward people and animals---who are often in the role of onlookers themselves---and his images capture the amusing and sometimes derisive role of both the glance and the gesture in our society.
Elliott Erwitt was born in Paris in 1928 to Russian émigrés who fled the Revolution. Moving with his family from Paris to Italy to Hollywood to New York, Erwitt came to photography early in life. He has since pursued a photographic career for over 50 years in journalism, fashion, and print advertisement. His personal work has been published in numerous monographs, among them Personal Exposures (1988), Between the Sexes (1994), To the Dogs (1992) and On the Beach (1991). He has been a member of the prestigious Magnum agency since 1953, and has served several terms as president. His photographs have been collected and exhibited at museums around the world including the New York Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution, the Art Institute of Chicago, Paris's Museum of Modern Art, and Zurich's Kunsthaus. This is the Robert Koch Gallery's first exhibition of his work.