04
Jan
09

‘William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961-2008’ at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Exhibition dates: November 7th 2008 – January 25th 2009

 

“One of the most influential photographers of the last half-century, William Eggleston has defined the history of color photography. This exhibition is the artist’s first retrospective in the United States and includes both his color and black-and-white photographs as well as Stranded in Canton, the artist’s video work from the early 1970s.

William Eggleston’s great achievement in photography can be described in a straightforward way: he captures everyday moments and transforms them into indelible images. William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961-2008 presents a comprehensive selection from nearly fifty years of image-making.

Born in 1939 in Sumner, Mississippi, a small town in the Delta region, Eggleston showed an early interest in cameras and audio technology. While studying at various colleges in the South, he purchased his first camera and came across a copy of Henri Cartier-Bresson’s book The Decisive Moment (1952). In the early 1960s, Eggleston married and moved to Memphis, where he has lived ever since. He first worked in black-and-white, but by the end of the decade began photographing primarily in color. Internationally acclaimed and widely traveled, Eggleston has spent the past four decades photographing all around the world, conveying intuitive responses to fleeting configurations of cultural signs and moods as specific expressions of local color. Psychologically complex and casually refined, bordering on kitsch and never conventionally beautiful, these photographs speak principally to the expanse of Eggleston’s imagination and have had a pervasive influence on all aspects of visual culture. By not censoring, rarely editing, and always photographing, Eggleston convinces us of the idea of the democratic camera.”

Text from the Whitney Museum of American Art website

 

 

William Eggleston. 'Untitled' c.1971-73

 

William Eggleston
Untitled
c.1971 – 1973
from “Troubled Waters” 1980

 

“One of the most influential photographers of the last half-century, William Eggleston has defined the history of color photography. This exhibition is the artist’s first retrospective in the United States and includes both his color and black-and-white photographs as well as Stranded in Canton, the artist’s video work from the early 1970s.”

 

William Eggleston (American, born 1939) 'Untitled (Greenwood, Mississippi)' 1980

 

William Eggleston (American, born 1939)
Untitled (Greenwood, Mississippi)
1980
Dye-transfer print
29.6 x 45.5 cm (11 5/8 x 17 15/16 in.)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Purchase, Louis V. Bell, Harris Brisbane Dick, Fletcher, and Rogers Funds and Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, and Jennifer and Philip Maritz Gift, 2012
© Eggleston Artistic Trust

 

Link to William Eggleston video

 

 

Link to William Eggleston video

“This candid interview with photographer William Eggleston was conducted by film director Michael Almereyda on the occasion of the opening of Eggleston’s retrospective ‘William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961-2008’ at the Whitney Museum of American Art. A key figure in American photography, Eggleston is credited almost single-handedly with ushering in the era of color photography. Eggleston discusses his shift from black and white to color photography in this video as, “it never was a conscious thing. I had wanted to see a lot of things in color because the world is in color”. Also included in this video are Eggleston’s remarks about his personal relationships with the subjects of many of his photographs.”

 

William Eggleston. "Untitled" nd from "Los Alamos" 1965 - 68 and 1972 - 74 (published 2003)

 

William Eggleston
Untitled
Nd
from “Los Alamos” 1965 – 68 and 1972 – 74 (published 2003)

 

 

Whitney Museum of American Art
99 Gansevoort Street
New York, NY 10014
Phone: (212) 570-3600

Opening hours:
Mondays: 10.30 am – 6 pm
Tuesdays: Closed
Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays: 10.30 am – 6 pm
Friday and Saturdays: 10.30 am – 10 pm

Whitney Museum of American Art website

William Eggleston exhibition web page

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes the Art Blart blog which reviews exhibitions in Melbourne, Australia and posts exhibitions from around the world. He has a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne and is currently studying a Master of Art Curatorship at The University of Melbourne.

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