A black and white photo of a couple glimpsed in the wing mirror of their car, parked by the ocean

Elliott Erwitt: A Life in Photos in Lyon

Posted by Speakeasy News > Thursday 07 December 2023 > Shine Bright Lycée What's On

We were sad to hear of the death of Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt at the age of 95. He had been taking photos for 80 years. The retrospective exhibition he curated himself at the Musée Maillol in Paris last year is currently on show in Lyon, till 17 March. It is a rich record of his home country of the U.S.A. and all those he visited, the people who fascinated him and a lot of dogs!

Erwitt was born in Paris in 1928, the child of Russian émigrés. In 1939, the family emigrated to the U.S.A., settling in California. Erwitt found work as a teenager developing photos, He went on to study photography. After meeting Robert Capa, he joined Magnum in the 1950s.

Cracked Glass with Boy, Colorado, 1955

In his long career he has both done commissioned work for magazines or advertising and his own series, coming back again and again to the themes he chose for this retrospective: Between the Sexes, Kids, Beaches, Abstractions, Cities, Dogs, Regarding Women, Kolor and Museum Watching (Erwitt has taken many photos over the years of the public observing the works in exhibitions, often with interesting juxtapositions.)

A photo of the young Erwitt watches over the room devoted to beach photography.

Much of the work on show is very personal, including some fascinating self-portraits. Erwitt explains, "I don't use color in my personal work. Color is a professional matter. My life is complicated enough as it is. I stick to black and white. That's enough." Here Erwitt discusses some of his photos.

You can preview some of the images on Erwitt's own site.

Elliott Erwitt retrospective
La Sucrière, Lyon
Till 17 March 2024

Poster for the Elliott Erwitt exhibition showing human legs with very large dog legs on the left and a tiny dog on the right.

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