W I L L I A M E G G L E S T O N
WILLIAM EGGLESTON (b. 1939 in Memphis, Tennessee) was raised on his family’s plantation in Sumner, Mississippi. After discovering photography in the early 1960s, he abandoned a traditional education and learned about the medium from illustrated books by Walker Evans, Henri Cartier-Bresson and Robert Frank. Although he began his career making black and white photographs, he soon transitioned to color technology at a time when color photography was largely confined to commercial advertising. In 1976 with the support of influential historian, critic and curator, John Szarkowski, Eggleston’s work became the subject of the groundbreaking exhibition “Color Photographs” at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The companion catalogue “William Eggleston’s Guide” became a quintessential publication within the history of color photography and helped establish the artist as a pioneer of the medium. His mundane and often trivial subject matter and use of color fields as a focal point of his compositions has inspired a generation of photographers and filmmakers alike.
Eggleston’s work has been exhibited in museums worldwide, and has been the subject of major retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art among others. Monographs, and limited edition books featuring his work are numerous. Most notable among them are William Eggleston’s Guide (with forward by John Sarkowski), 1976; Ancient & Modern, 1992; Faulkner’s Mississippi, 1990; 2 ¼, 1999; Los Alamos (with introduction by Walter Hopps), 2003; William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs & Video 1961-2008, 2008; Before Color, 2010; Los Alamos Revisited, 2013; Chromes, 2013.
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