21
May
09

Exhibition: ‘William Eggleston, Paris’ at Fondation Cartier, Paris

Exhibition dates: 4th April – 21st June 2009

 

William Eggleston. 'Untitled', Paris series, 2006-2008

 

William Eggleston (American, b. 1939)
Untitled from the Paris series
2006-2008
Colour print
27.9 x 35.6 cm
Series of 32 works: 27 colour prints, 4 diptychs and 1 painting
Commission for the exhibition William Eggleston, Paris, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2009
Gift of the artist 2009
© Eggleston Artistic Trust, Memphis

 

 

Perhaps it’s just me, but I seem to have become a little jaded towards the recent photographs of William Eggleston.

Other than the green reflection of lights in rainwater (above) the photographs seem to have lost their unique voice, the social insight that gave his earlier work it’s zing – provocative images that challenged how we live through a meditation on subject matter, construction of space, and tone of “colour”. How the colour that surrounds us inflects our very being.

In these photographs it feels like there has been little development in his style over the years with a consequent lessening of their visual impact. Now Eggleston’s colour just feels like a party trick, performed by rote with little consequential meaning to either the colour or the image. Perhaps the way we look at the world (and how we picture it) has finally overtaken the director’s prescient creative vision – his auteurship, his authorship.

Dr Marcus Bunyan

.
Many thankx to the Fondation Cartier for allowing me to publish the photographs in the posting.

 

“In Eggleston’s best work, the work that made him famous, color is intrinsic to the meaning of the photograph. Its not simply a garnish to draw the eye. His best photographs are not ‘about’ the color; they are about larger issues that the color is used in the service of.  This is whats missing in his Paris pictures. The color here is pure ornament, eye candy to seduce you into forgetting that the picture has nothing to say.”

Anonymous. “William Eggleston Mails It In From Paris,” on the Leicaphilia website April 21, 2014 [Online] Cited 06/02/2019

 

 

 

William Eggleston. 'Untitled', Paris series, 2006-2008

 

William Eggleston (American, b. 1939)
Untitled from the Paris series
2006-2008
Colour print
27.9 x 35.6 cm
Series of 32 works: 27 colour prints, 4 diptychs and 1 painting
Commission for the exhibition William Eggleston, Paris, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2009
Gift of the artist 2009
© Eggleston Artistic Trust, Memphis

 

William Eggleston. 'Untitled', Paris series, 2006-2008

 

William Eggleston (American, b. 1939)
Untitled from the Paris series
2006-2008
Colour print
27.9 x 35.6 cm
Series of 32 works: 27 colour prints, 4 diptychs and 1 painting
Commission for the exhibition William Eggleston, Paris, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2009
Gift of the artist 2009
© Eggleston Artistic Trust, Memphis

 

William Eggleston. 'Untitled', Paris series, 2006-2008

 

William Eggleston (American, b. 1939)
Untitled from the Paris series
2006-2008
Colour print
27.9 x 35.6 cm
Series of 32 works: 27 colour prints, 4 diptychs and 1 painting
Commission for the exhibition William Eggleston, Paris, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2009
Gift of the artist 2009
© Eggleston Artistic Trust, Memphis

 

William Eggleston. 'Untitled', Paris series, 2006-2008

 

William Eggleston (American, b. 1939)
Untitled from the Paris series
2006-2008
Colour print
27.9 x 35.6 cm
Series of 32 works: 27 colour prints, 4 diptychs and 1 painting
Commission for the exhibition William Eggleston, Paris, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2009
Gift of the artist 2009
© Eggleston Artistic Trust, Memphis

 

 

For the last three years, American photographer William Eggleston has photographed the city of Paris as part of a commission for the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain. Taken throughout different seasons, these new images by one of the fathers of colour photography portray the local and the cosmopolitan, the glamorous and the gritty, the everyday and the extraordinary.

This exhibition also provides an exceptional occasion to bring together William Eggleston’s distinctive pictures and his recent paintings, an unknown aspect of his work that has never before been presented to the public.

Text from the Fondation Cartier website

 

William Eggleston. 'Untitled', Paris series, 2006-2008

 

William Eggleston (American, b. 1939)
Untitled from the Paris series
2006-2008
Colour print
35.6 cm x 27.9
Series of 32 works: 27 colour prints, 4 diptychs and 1 painting
Commission for the exhibition William Eggleston, Paris, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2009
Gift of the artist 2009
© Eggleston Artistic Trust, Memphis

 

William Eggleston. 'Untitled', Paris series, 2006-2008

 

William Eggleston (American, b. 1939)
Untitled from the Paris series
2006-2008
Colour print
35.6 cm x 27.9
Series of 32 works: 27 colour prints, 4 diptychs and 1 painting
Commission for the exhibition William Eggleston, Paris, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2009
Gift of the artist 2009
© Eggleston Artistic Trust, Memphis

 

William Eggleston. 'Untitled', Paris series, 2006-2008

 

William Eggleston (American, b. 1939)
Untitled from the Paris series
2006-2008
Colour print
35.6 cm x 27.9
Series of 32 works: 27 colour prints, 4 diptychs and 1 painting
Commission for the exhibition William Eggleston, Paris, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2009
Gift of the artist 2009
© Eggleston Artistic Trust, Memphis

 

 

William Eggleston’s recent book Paris, published by Steidl and commissioned by Foundation Cartier, is a collective body of work that comprises his oeuvre of color drawings and recent Paris photographs. Similar to Ben Shahn, Charles Scheeler, Diego Rivera, Man Ray, Robert Rauschenberg and Ed Ruscha, Eggleston has reached out beyond photography to express his creative talents.

The photographs and drawings are intertwined throughout the book, creating an interesting visual cadence. The page spreads illustrate various layout designs, including a single image of either a photograph or drawing on a spread, pairs of drawings and photographs and pairs of drawing facing a photograph. All of the drawings and photographs are contained within the boundaries of the page. …

We know mostly of Eggleston’s photographs, but from the dating on one of the drawings included in this book, we can determine that Eggleston has been working with the drawing medium since 1968. It is interesting to speculate as to how one medium may have influenced the other for Eggleston. As an example, the earlier photographs by Shahn and Scheeler seem to have had an influence on how these two artists subsequently worked their framing, pictorial space, mass & line quality in their subsequent paintings.

The Paris photographs that Eggleston made of graffiti or his tight framing in conjunction with a longer lens to compress the pictorial space are visually similar in style to his drawings. The subjects he photographs are framed to create similar vibrant color masses and lines as his drawing, abstracting reality into basic graphic components. …

Eggleston’s photographs are constructed like spontaneous glances; partial views of what might be consider a traditional subject, creating color abstractions of lines, patterns and mass. Trees, pipes, people, walls, garbage, décor, wall paper, display windows are bisected and truncated, with edges and lines following out of the photographs borders. These images seem to be created by a restless and nervous energy.

With these drawings, paintings and photographs, Eggleston shows a interesting handling of these mediums and offers an insight as to how influential the period of Abstract Expressionism is to his photographic process.

Extract from Douglas Stockdale. “William Eggleston – Paris,” on The PhotoBook Journal website September 12, 2009 [Online] Cited 06/02/2019

 

William Eggleston. 'Untitled', Paris series, 2006-2008

 

William Eggleston (American, b. 1939)
Untitled from the Paris series
2006-2008
Colour print
35.6 cm x 27.9
Series of 32 works: 27 colour prints, 4 diptychs and 1 painting
Commission for the exhibition William Eggleston, Paris, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2009
Gift of the artist 2009
© Eggleston Artistic Trust, Memphis

 

William Eggleston. 'Untitled', Paris series, 2006-2008

 

William Eggleston (American, b. 1939)
Untitled from the Paris series
2006-2008
Colour print
35.6 cm x 27.9
Series of 32 works: 27 colour prints, 4 diptychs and 1 painting
Commission for the exhibition William Eggleston, Paris, Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris, 2009
Gift of the artist 2009
© Eggleston Artistic Trust, Memphis

 

 

Fondation Cartier
261, Boulevard Raspail
75014 Paris, France

Opening hours:
Open from Tuesday to Sunday, from 11 am – 8 pm
Closed on Mondays
Late closing on Tuesday, at 10 pm

Fondation Cartier website

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Dr Marcus Bunyan

Dr Marcus Bunyan is an Australian artist and writer. His art work explores the boundaries of identity and place. He writes Art Blart, a photographic archive and form of cultural memory, which posts mainly photography exhibitions from around the world. He holds a Dr of Philosophy from RMIT University, Melbourne, a Master of Arts (Fine Art Photography) from RMIT University, and a Master of Art Curatorship from the University of Melbourne.

Marcus Bunyan black and white archive: ‘Dogs, chickens, cattle’ 1994-95

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