William Eggleston was born in 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee. He took his first black-and-white photographs at age 18 and soon became serious about photography, though he never studied it formally. His first color work was shot in 1964 in color negative film, but in the late 60s he began to use color slides; it was some of those slides that he brought with him to New York in 1967, when he met Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand, and John Szarkowski. It was Szarkowski who curated Eggleston's landmark 1976 solo exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York--a breakthrough in the perception of color photography as a serious form of fine art. The recipient of the 1998 Hasselblad Award, Eggleston's work was most recently seen in Documenta11 and in a major retrospective at the Fondation Cartier in Paris.
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William Eggleston's Guide Essay by John Szarkowski. William Eggleston's Guide was the first one-man show of color photographs ever presented at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Museum's first publication of color photography. The reception
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THE MUSEUM OF MODERN ART, NEW YORK
$39.95 | In stock
Essay by John Szarkowski.
Published by The Museum of Modern Art, New York
William Eggleston's Guide was the first one-man show of color photographs ever presented at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Museum's first publication of color photography. The reception was divided and passionate. The book and show unabashedly forced the art world to deal with color photography, a medium scarcely taken seriously at the time, and with the vernacular content of a body of photographs that could have been but definitely weren't some average American's Instamatic pictures from the family album. These photographs heralded a new mastery of the use of color as an integral element of photographic composition. Bound in a textured cover inset with a photograph of a tricycle and stamped with yearbook-style gold lettering, the Guide contained 48 images edited down from 375 shot between 1969 and 1971 and displayed a deceptively casual, actually super-refined look at the surrounding world. Here are people, landscapes and odd little moments in and around Eggleston's hometown of Memphis--an anonymous woman in a loudly patterned dress and cat's eye glasses sitting, left leg slightly raised, on an equally loud outdoor sofa; a coal-fired barbecue shooting up flames, framed by a shiny silver tricycle, the curves of a gleaming black car fender, and someone's torso; a tiny, gray-haired lady in a faded, flowered housecoat, standing expectant, and dwarfed in the huge dark doorway of a mint-green room whose only visible furniture is a shaded lamp on an end table. For this edition of William Eggleston's Guide, The Museum of Modern Art has made new color separations from the original 35 mm slides, producing a facsimile edition in which the color will be freshly responsive to the photographer's intentions.
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