Elliott Erwitt: Personal Bests / SOL-LDN
SOL LDN is pleased to announce that a new exhibition of photographs by Elliott Erwitt will open in Fitzrovia in November 2023. Celebrating Erwitt’s 95th year, the exhibition includes 30 of the photographer’s most celebrated images from his long and storied career. Elliott Erwitt: Personal Bests will present six decades of the photographer’s sharp observation, from humorous street scenes to historic documentation. Erwitt has spent the majority of his life in New York, where he developed his unique style of street photography, characterised by satirical humour and sharp wit. One of Erwitt’s earliest and best known works will be on display, a photograph from 1946 of a small Chihuahua standing next to a pair of women’s feet in sandals. The photograph demonstrates Erwitt’s creativity, presenting a unique view of New York from the perspective of a dog.
Erwitt’s career rocketed when he was invited to join Magnum Photos in the early 1950s. The exhibition will feature important photographs from many of his assignments, including “the kitchen cabinet debate” between President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Krushchev in 1959 and Che Guevara in the wake of the Cuban Revolution (1964). Other celebrities to sit for Erwitt included Marilyn Monroe, John F Kennedy and Salvador Dalí, whose portraits will also be on display.
ABOUT SOL LDN SOL LDN is an online platform for photography, launched in January 2023 as The Home of Photography Collecting Online. Adopting an itinerant exhibition model, the platform holds a handful of pop-up exhibitions across various sites in London each year. Elliott Erwitt: Personal Bests is SOL LDN’s second iteration of 2023 and will pop-up for five days in Fitzrovia, in the middle of November.
ABOUT THE ARTIST Born in 1928 in Paris to Russian parents, Erwitt spent his childhood in Milan, where the family moved shortly after his birth. In 1939, Erwitt’s family took the last ship out of peacetime Europe, arriving in New York five days after the outbreak of war. He studied photography at Los Angeles City College, but returned to New York at eighteen. Drafted into the US Army 1951, Erwitt continued to photograph during his service, carrying a Leica with a collapsible lens in the pocket of his uniform. After joining Magnum in 1953, he became one of the world’s most successful and influential photographers, completing three terms as the president of the agency, of which he is still a member.
Erwitt’s photograph of his wife, his six-day-old daughter and their cat, was included in Edward Steichen’s significant photography exhibition The Family of Man in 1955 at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. 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.