100912: Kunsthaus Wien Elliott Erwitt. Retrospective

Kunsthaus Wien Elliott Erwitt. Retrospective 14.06.2012 – 30.09.2012 Enigmatic-mischievous in black and white By Manisha Jothady He photographed Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly and caught the distraught look on the face of his wife at John F. Kennedy's funeral. He was there when Nixon and Khrushchev met each other during the Cold War at a US industrial fair in Moscow. And pressed the button when the irascible American stabbed at the dismal Russian's chest with a warning finger. Elliott Erwitt created snapshots in time of other politicians such as Fidel Castro. As was once mentioned in an article in Stern, he, like every other photographer, also hunts for the split second. But what sets him apart from his colleagues is the ability to anticipate what the object of his photographic interest is going to do next. That his camera catches many humourous moments (also in serious situations) can be seen in approximately 150 works now being shown in comprehensive retrospective in Vienna's Kunsthaus. But humour was not his intention, say Elliott, who would like to be thought of as the "Woody Allen of photography". If one takes the interviews with him a little bit to heart, it quickly becomes clear that the man who says of himself that he "carried the camera around as a child carries its cuddly toy", only coquets. Elliot appears to be humourous through and through. Amusing shots of dogs and their owners appear here as a logical consequence. The many well-known portraits of our four-legged friends and their owners are only a small part of that which designates Elliott as a renowned representative of the Magnum Guild, who observes his surroundings in an ironic but affectionate manner, whether they be naked or clothed, in the museum, in the underground station, on the street or at home. His sensitive eye for the poetic and socio-critic is also just as evident as that for the everyday comical. For example, the romantically portrayed photograph of the lovers whose faces are only to be seen in the rear mirror of their car, whilst the eye falls on the view of the open sea in the background. In contrast, the shot of the young boy who, grinning, holds a toy pistol to his head, leaves room for reflection. It's in pictures such as these that the joke turns sour. Kunsthaus Wien 1030 Vienna, Untere Weißgerberstr. 13 Tel: +43 1 712 04 95 Fax: +43 1 712 04 96 Email: office@kunthauswien.at http://www.kunsthauswien.at Opening hours: daily between 10.00 and 19.00 hours

Kunsthaus Wien xx
1030 Wien, Untere Weißgerberstr 13
Tel: +43 / 1 / 712 04 95, Fax: +43 / 1 / 712 04 96
Email: office@kunsthauswien.at
Öffnungszeiten: täglich von 10 bis 19 Uhr

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