W I L L I A M E G G L E S T O N : New Dyes
13 October - 24 November, 2012
William Eggleston’s vision is deceptively casual and sometimes brutally direct. The results are often unsettling. Whether he is making portraits, landscapes, interiors, still-life’s or street scenes, he works with unflinching, unsentimental candor. By marrying this sensibility with sophisticated color, Eggleston continuously rediscovers the mundane world.
His first solo exhibition, simply titled Color Photographs opened at the Museum of Modern Art, New York on May 25th, 1976. Comprised of dye transfer prints of the artist’s early color work, produced between 1969 and 1971, it was regarded as one of the most influential photography shows of its time. The corresponding catalogue, William Eggleston’s Guide, was the museum’s very first publication of color photographs and together, exhibition and book represented a turning point in the history of photography; the point where color photography gained recognition as a medium of artistic expression.
His radical departure from conventional composition combined with the pioneering use of the dye transfer print process became the hallmark of Eggleston’s career. His reliance on dyes as a primary medium was an unprecedented aesthetic and conceptual choice that made a deep impact in the world of photography. Originally developed for advertising and advertising copy, the dye transfer printing method carried commercial and consumer connotations and had never before been used by an artist. By exaggerating particular hues and making use of the broadest color and tonal ranges, Eggleston added a psychological component, even an hallucinatory atmosphere to his pictures of the everyday. The arresting saturated palette, richness and unmatched depth of Eggleston’s prints are paralleled with a subtle emotional effect.