Elliott Erwitt's "Kolor" @ Edwynn Houk Gallery
Currently on view at Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York is Kolor, the first comprehensive exhibition of Elliott Erwitt's color photographs.
A photographer since 1948, Elliott Erwitt’s early black and white photographs set a precedent for the genre of social landscape and anticipated the iconic imagery of Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand, and Robert Frank. Erwitt’s skill as a photographer is evident in his juxtaposition of elements within a frame. He creates relationships between people, places, and things, which reveal the world in a unique, humorous way. Throughout his distinguished career, he has taken some of the most memorable images of the 20th century including President John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, and Che Guevara. His personal pictures or “snaps” as he refers to them embody a sense of the absurd, wit and charm.
While Erwitt always carried two cameras with black and white and color film, he comes from an era when few photographers worked in color. Color film was in its infancy and primarily used for commercial and editorial work, but time and technology have changed that. However, Erwitt’s craftsmanship and wry sensibility are apparent in both.
“Normally, I prefer shooting in black and white for my personal pictures. But now, having extensively examined my past color pictures, I am less dogmatic. In the end, it is only the quality of the pictures that counts,” states Erwitt.
The color images in the exhibition were published for the first time in book format as Elliott Erwitt’s Kolor by teNeus in 2013. Erwitt purposely spells color with a “K” in tribute to George Eastman and Kodak film. Taken primarily using now obsolete Kodachrome and Ektachrome films, they represent a combination of assignment work and images Erwitt took for his own pleasure over the last half-century. In preparation for the book, Erwitt worked with three assistants for six months to sift through more than a half a million 35mm slides to select the 400 plus images that comprise the book
Kolor will be on display through November 18th, 2016 at Edwynn Houk Gallery