Dog Dogs

Erwitt, Elliott

Published by Phaidon Press, 1998
ISBN 10: 0714838055 / ISBN 13: 9780714838052
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TRADE PAPER Pets-Dogs Novelty . USED, Less Than Standard. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: The legendary Magnum photographer Elliott Erwitt (b.1928) says that he did not consciously set out to photograph dogs. According to him, it just happened that way. And that one day, when he was looking through his boxes of photographs, he realized that somehow or other dogs had crept into a fair proportion of them. Not that they were dog portraits. More just photographs with dogs in. Pictures of poodles taken at dog shows, of Airedales fetching sticks in the park, of crowds of dogs larking around together, of Highland Terriers jumping in the air for joy - and hundreds of images of dogs walking, being carried, sitting on hearthrugs, beaches, riverbanks, sofas, park benches.DogDogs is a delightful object presenting the largest selection ever published of Erwitt's dog photographs. Any dog-lover's dream title, it contains 500 pictures, all of them printed full-bleed and in arresting duotone. Also included is a captivating essay by P G Wodehouse, who was an admirer of Erwitt's work and a keen dog-owner himself. As he says, ' ... what superb photographs these are. It does one good to look at them. There is not one sitter in his gallery who does not melt the heart.'

Review: Nearly every one of the 500 black-and-white pictures in this book is a miraculous blend of composition and content, placing photographer Elliott Erwitt right up there with the other postwar, 20th-century masters of moment and meaning. Erwitt writes in his introduction, "This is not a book of dog pictures but of dogs in pictures." It is the photograph that counts, above and beyond its subject, for the photographer of genius. But Erwitt is bound to be called a sentimentalist because he photographs dogs, whom we, in our species-centric way, tend to think of as, well, animals. If Erwitt proves anything, however, it is that our close relationship with these furry fellow travelers is due to mutual resemblance. There is a Native American myth that when the world was created, a great fissure began to split the earth. Humans were caught on one side of the chasm, animals on the other. The dog, however, seeing the gap widen, leaped across to the human side, where he has been ever since. This book captures the pleasures of our loyal, dependent friends, as well as their sorrows and disappointment when they are forced to adapt to human callousness, neglect, or even love. Erwitt sees the dignity of the ankle-high Chihuahua; the anxiety of the homeless hound; the smugness of the adored dachshund, sitting on its chaise longue in the noonday sun; the patience of the pom-pommed poodle; and the gormless joy of a homely but well-loved pug. In his vast range of emotion, and in his easygoing but precise mastery of the abstract elements of composition, Elliott Erwitt has made himself the Cartier-Bresson of the canine world. --Peggy Moorman

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Dog Dogs
Publisher: Phaidon Press
Publication Date: 1998

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