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Elliott Erwitt

Elliott Erwitt, an associate photographer for the famed Magnum Photo agency, has developed a reputation for both the melancholy and the whimsical humor that infuses his images. Born in France in 1928, he began a long and fruitful career when his family moved to Los Angeles in the 1940s. But he's spent much of his time in New York, and the bulk of his photographs capture the city's scenes and people. It's the focus of a recently published monograph, Elliott Erwitt's New York. To coincide, Edwynn Houk Gallery in New York is now paying homage with an exhibit through March 7.

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The photographer's Web site features an impressive biography, which concludes: "Elliott Erwitt likes children and dogs." This subtle sense of levity is characteristic of his work, which is often serious, and often playful, both light and profound. The exhibit features 25 gelatin silver prints, spanning Erwitt's career.

The gallery notes that at "the center of this project is a city defined by its people, its innovation, and its capacity for human tenderness. Erwitt's New York provides a glimpse of the city's tiny triumphs." A spilled drink, children dancing, a stolen kiss: the perspective behind these gritty black-and-whites will bring a smile to the viewer's face. All images (c) Elliott Erwitt/Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, New York

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