Book Review: Elliot Erwitt’s “KOLOR”

It’s not every day we get to see a whole other side of a prolific photographer, such as Elliot Erwitt.  But that is exactly what his newest book portrays; his editorial and advertising images are not discriminatory, yet capture the very essence of humanity in every shot.

At first glance, the dynamic color and depth of Erwitt’s photo’s capture the raw, yet, evocative portrayal of human nature often with a bit of humor and irony.

© ELLIOTT ERWITT’S KOLOR, FRANCE. Saint-Tropez. 1978. Gunter Sachs and his model friend, published by teNeues, Photo © 2013 Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos. All rights reserved.

The meticulous and perfectly rendered layout of images weave together the threads of Erwitt’s vast array of journeys and assignments, while remaining true to his voice as a photographer.  When working for others, many photographers strive for this type of distinction, yet want their voice to remain their own and upon closer examination, Erwitt’s visual brilliance shines through. There tends to be a hint of irony and pragmatism in Erwitt’s work and his most recent compilation shows exactly that– whether it is a fleeting moment of intimacy between two lovers or a portrait of diverse group of people for the French tourism, his images are so well executed one can not help but to grasp his understanding of humanity in any given place.

© ELLIOTT ERWITT’S KOLOR, FRANCE. Paris. 1963. Advertisement for French tourism, published by teNeues, Photo © 2013 Elliott Erwitt/Magnum Photos. All rights reserved.

The title Kolor is a nod to George Eastman, who happen to like words beginning with the letter K, and his well known empire, Kodak.  The images in this book come from Erwitt’s archive of  Kodachrome as well as some Ektachrome film slides. Each image in the book is saturated with color and provides a rich viewing experience.

Today, Erwitt is based in New York,  has published numerous  books and has had one-man exhibitions in museums and galleries around the world. Some of which include, New York’s Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Available at:

ISBN: 978-3-8327-9577-1 – 10 5/8 x 14 1/6 inches – 448 pages
Hardcover with jacket – 240 photographs – $125
Publication date: September 2013 (U.S. & Canada)
Foreword text in English, German, French, Italian, and Spanish

Also available as a Collector’s Edition: limited edition of 100 copies beautifully presented in a large format clamshell box (c. 17 x 24 inches). Each copy contains 1 of 4 high-quality photoprints signed by Elliott Erwitt himself.
Pre-publication price until December 31, 2013: $2500


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