The Telegraph on Eggleston at the Met

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At War with the Obvious: Photographs by William Eggleston

American photographer William Eggleston (born 1939) emerged in the early 1960s as a pioneer of modern color photography. Now, 50 years later, he is arguably its greatest exemplar.

Untitled (Mississippi) by William Eggleston, ca. 1970 At War with the Obvious: Photographs by William Eggleston at Metropolitan Museum

Untitled (Mississippi) by William Eggleston, ca. 1970 At War with the Obvious: Photographs by William Eggleston at Metropolitan Museum  Photo: Eggleston Artistic Trust/ The Metropolitan Museum of Art

At War with the Obvious: Photographs by William Eggleston at The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents the work of this idiosyncratic artist, whose influences are drawn from disparate if surprisingly complementary sources—from Walker Evans and Henri Cartier-Bresson in photography to Bach and late Baroque music. Many of Eggleston’s most recognized photographs are lush studies of the social and physical landscape found in the Mississippi delta region that is his home.

The exhibition celebrates the acquisition of 36 dye transfer prints by Eggleston that dramatically expanded the Metropolitan Museum’s collection of this major American artist’s work. It added the entire suite of Eggleston’s remarkable first portfolio of color photographs, 14 Pictures (1974), 15 superb prints from his landmark book, William Eggleston’s Guide (1976), and seven other key photographs that span his career.

As much as Eggleston was influenced by various sources, he, too, has proved influential. His inventive photographs of commonplace subjects now endure as touchstones for generations of artists, musicians, and filmmakers from Nan Goldin to David Byrne, the Coen brothers, and David Lynch.

Text and image courtesy of The Telegraph.