Elliott Erwitt's most famous shots reunited at Villa Bardini

A retrospective exhibition dedicated to the great master of photography Elliott Erwitt will be held in the exhibition spaces of Villa Bardini in Florence from October 20, 2022 to January 22, 2023.

From October 20, 2022 to January 22, 2023, Elliott Erwitt’s exhibition Photographs will be staged in the exhibition spaces of Villa Bardini in Florence. Thus, after nearly two decades, a retrospective of the great master of photography, who is blowing out 94 candles this year, returns to the Tuscan capital. Promoted by Fondazione CR Firenze and Fondazione Parchi Monumentali Bardini e Peyron, curated by Biba Giachetti, with coordination by Melissa Camilli and Francesca Lanuara, in collaboration with Sudest57, the exhibition celebrates the long professional life of the famous photographer, retracing the most famous shots of his activity. Shots that offer a glimpse of the history and costume of the twentieth century through portraits to great movie stars, world powerhouses, which go beyond the characters showing their intimacy and humanity.

About seventy shots, selected by the curator together with Erwitt himself, will be exhibited in order to succinctly propose his distinctive features. His masterpieces arise from the most diverse situations, built on work, personal, casual and family research. On display will be the famous portraits of Che Guevara smiling, of Kerouac, of Marlene Dietrich, photographs that made history, such as Jackie Kennedy at her husband’s funeral, or the quarrel between the two leaders Nixon and Khrushchev. And again, the famous shots of Marilyn Monroe, a diva whom Erwitt knew well and whom he restores to us in an unusual version, as in the famous shot in which she appears pensive, devoid of poses and masks, or in the midst of her character on the set of The Misfits, which marked the end of an era, the end of her marriage to the film’s screenwriter Arthur Miller, but also the last film with Clark Gable. Also on the exhibition itinerary are photos of his beloved dogs, a metaphor for humankind to which Erwitt has dedicated numerous books. The artist chose the unusual point of view of the dog for some fashion shoots on footwear, which entered the history of photography. Erwitt’s romanticism explodes in a portfolio of images devoted to love, among them the kiss of two lovers reflected in a car mirror at sunset, which remained in his archive for a long time and was rediscovered in recent times. Then there are private photos, such as the one to his first-born daughter Ellen, still an infant observed in bed by her mother, and Erwitt’s self-portraits that convey how much he loves to make fun of himself.

“Yet another exhibition dedicated to a master of the image,” say the presidents of Fondazione CR Firenze Luigi Salvadori and Fondazione Parchi Monumentali Bardini e Peyron Jacopo Speranza, “after the great success of the previous Fotografe. In this case the protagonist is an artist universally recognized for the delicate irony of his shooting. His photos are part of our collective memory and are a hymn to the life of an elegant 94-year-old gentleman who has not yet lost the taste for demystifying, with his unmistakable style, the growing anxieties of today. Villa Bardini confirms itself as an ideal venue to celebrate the most interesting and original ’witnesses of time’ on the world scene.”

“Elliott Erwitt is not only the author of the images,” comments the curator, “but he is also the curator of the collection, which he chose piece by piece together with me, then personally printed each photograph and created a path that was the concentrate of his genius and irony, of his view of the world, from his anthropomorphic dogs to the powerful of the earth, from the great movie stars, one above all Marilyn, to his children, a unique compendium of humanity lightness and depth.”

Also in the exhibition itinerary is an exclusiveHudson Lines film, shot at Erwitt’s home, in which the photographer talks about himself. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalog published by SudEst57.

Image: Elliott Erwitt, USA. California (1956)

Elliott Erwitt's most famous shots reunited at Villa Bardini
Elliott Erwitt's most famous shots reunited at Villa Bardini

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