Artists in the History

William Eggleston

When I show him Kim Kardashian West’s Instagram, he says, “While I can’t imagine Eggleston navigating the little things in life like grocery shopping or filling out any form, I can imagine an understated version — a harsh — parallel universe, as he sketches the One Theory of Everything on paper napkins and then pops it up as a sweet service to the stunned hand of Albert Einstein.

According to Philip Gefter of Art’s Auctions, it is worth noting that in the early 1970s, Stephen Shore and William Eggleston, pioneers of color photography borrowed from photorealists knowingly or not : their photographic interpretation of American jargon – gas stations, restaurants, car parks – is predicted in the photorealistic paintings that preceded their images.

William Eggleston is one of the most influential photographers of the second half of the 20th century, credited with pioneering artistic color photography in his iconic portrayals of the American South. For nearly six decades, American artist William Eggleston has created a unique style of painting that combines folk subjects with an innate and complex understanding of color, shape and composition. Eggleston transforms ordinary into distinctive poetic imagery that escapes fixed meaning.

His 1976 solo exhibition by William Eggleston, curated by John Sharkowski at the Museum of Modern Art in New York – the museum’s first presentation of color photography – marked an important moment in the media’s acceptance of historical canon. The Memphis-born artist has developed his work that is different from the world around him, incorporating all the nuances of life into his vivid photographs and paving the way for an approach that draws its strength.

During a time when the only photos considered as art were black and white (color photography was usually intended for flashy advertising campaigns, not fine art ) critics were dismayed when Stephen Shore organized a one-woman exhibition of color photographs at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1971. Other photographers have used color, including Saul Leiter, Fred Herzog, Helen Levitt and her friends William Christenberry and Stephen Shore, but none have used the same vibrant tonality in either of those pictures.

In terms of influence, only Robert Frank’s The Americans (1958) casts a longer shadow than William Eggleston’s Guide (1976), whose title is both a mission statement and a vicious subversive to the idea that great photography can be taught…. The catalog of the controversial MoMA exhibition included only 48 images of often mundane objects – a burning barbecue, milk cartons scattered across the wasteland – as well as deliberately random portraits of locals…

When photographer William Eggleston arrived in Manhattan in 1967 with a suitcase full of color slides and prints from the Mississippi Delta. Eggleston was the first artist to remove transfer printing from advertisements and use it to create art. He is also credited with turning these so-called “snapshot aesthetics” into hand-drawn images that simulate life, inspiring future generations of modern photographers such as Jeff Wall and Gregory Crewdson…

In 1959, he entered Evans’ major exhibition of American photographs – although his son is now leading most of his career – but found a place for himself, jumped out of the car and began to photograph everything around him. He had a friend working in the darkroom of the pharmacy, watching the family photographs be taken. Eggleston read Henri Cartier-Bresson’s landmark book, The American South –

Eggleston, who almost missed the opening of the MoMA exhibit by falling asleep in his hotel room, always said that criticism never bothered him – he thought that those critics were not really looking at his photos.

Eggleston was subject of a major exhibition in the Museum of Modern Art in New York in the summer of 1976, where he was considered one of the key figures of a new generation of color photographers but the show was not well received by many critics of the city, and the apparent platitude of the photographs caused the greatest horror. In late fall, Eggleston stumbled upon a job that Eggleston had created in October during his trip to Sumter County.

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