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LIGHTNING RELEASES (4/17/2014) – The work of American photographer Martin Elkort will be showcased this May in a one-man exhibit at the Catherine Couturier Gallery along with a screening of a documentary about his life and work at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Primarily known for his early black and white street photography in New York during the 1940s and 1950s post-Depression era, Elkort’s work is in the permanent collections of several major United States art museums as well as many private and corporate collections. In his early years, Elkort joined the New York Photo League where he studied under master photographers. There he honed his “stealth photography” skills. Elkort captured the simple innocence of “real people” in neighborhood settings such as Coney Island Amusement Park, the New York garment district and the Lower East Side shops. Currently Elkort is 85 and resides in Los Angeles, Calif.

After 12 years of creating award-winning biographies and tribute videos for her distinguished clientele, Elkort’s daughter, Stefani Twyford of Legacy Multimedia decided it was time to turn her lens on her own family, specifically her father’s work. Twyford explains, “My father was part of a shift in American photography that gave rise to a close observation of human interaction now known as street photography. I wanted to profile his unique body of work and hopefully give a greater understanding of his and his peer’s influence on modern photography.” “Martin Elkort: An American Mirror” is an intimate visit with Martin as he shares stories about himself and the history of American photography along with major events that changed the nation. The 55-minute film features many of Elkort’s vintage and newer photographs. Insights from highly respected museum curators Anne Wilkes Tucker and Catherine Evans, along with gallery owner Catherine Couturier, provide fascinating historical context and artistic commentary.

Catherine Couturier expressed her thoughts on the upcoming events, “Through his photographs, Martin Elkort shows us a postwar New York full of optimism and innocence.  Our show at Catherine Couturier Gallery coupled with the premiere of the documentary will give us a glimpse of that age through the lens of a Photo League member who had a fascination and fondness for his subject matter.”

Marion Luntz, Curator of Film and Video at MFAH offered, “We are delighted to have American Mirror premiering at the museum.  This screening is part of our year-round film programming, during which we often feature independent filmmakers presenting their work.  Martin Elkort’s photographs are included in our permanent collection, and this insightful film encourages a fuller appreciation of his artistic vision.

Elkort’s work can be seen at www.martinelkort.com and an online trailer for the film can be viewed at www.martinelkhort.com/home/martin-elkhort-an-american-mirror/

Martin Elkort Photography Exhibit

A one-man photography exhibition featuring Elkort’s early and modern black and white images will be on display the month of May. The show opens May 3 and runs through May 31, 2014. Photos are available for purchase.

Catherine Couturier Gallery, 2635 Colquitt Street, Houston, Texas 77098

713-524-5070 www.catherinercouturier.com

Opening Reception: Saturday, May 3, 6 to 8 p.m. (Central Daylight Time) 

Tuesday through Saturday, May 31, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Documentary Film Screening: “Martin Elkort: An American Mirror”

Twyford’s documentary about her father’s life and work will be showing at The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Anne Wilkes Tucker, Gus and Lyndall Wortham Curator of Photography at the MFAH, will introduce the film. 

Twyford will be present to discuss and answer questions about the film. 

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet Street, Houston, Texas 77005

713-639-7300 www.mfah.org/films/

Sunday, May 18, 5 p.m. Tickets are $9 with a $2 discount for MFAH members. Tickets can be pre-purchased online.

Media Contacts: Laura Pennino, Pennino and Partners 

281.286.9398, Ext. 1 or 713-419-1776 mobile, lp@penninoandpartners.com

Stefani Twyford, Legacy Multimedia, 281-381-9550, stwyford@legacymultimedia.com