PHOTOGRAPHY SURVEYS | COLLECTIONS | MOVEMENTS | EXHIBITIONS

PUBLISHER
Hatje Cantz

BOOK FORMAT
Hardcover, 10 x 12 in. / 272 pgs / 301 color.

PUBLISHING STATUS
Pub Date
Out of print

DISTRIBUTION
D.A.P. Exclusive
Catalog: SPRING 2010 p. 177   

PRODUCT DETAILS
ISBN 9783775724906 TRADE
List Price: $75.00 CDN $90.00

AVAILABILITY
Not available

EXHIBITION SCHEDULE

Cincinnati
Cincinnati Art Museum, 02/13/10-05/09/10

Princeton
Princeton University Art Museum, 07/10/10-09/26/10

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HATJE CANTZ

Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980

Edited and text by Kevin Moore. Essays by James Crump, Leo Rubinfien.

Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980It is hard to imagine today that the artistic value of color photography was once questioned and controversial, even as recently as the 1980s. William Eggleston's watershed exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1976, generated plenty of scorn and confusion, as spectators struggled to accept his seemingly ordinary-looking color images of Southern life as art. Early photographs by Stephen Shore, Helen Levitt, Joel Meyerowitz and others received similarly hostile or ambivalent reviews. Color photography also had opponents within photography, most notoriously in Henri Cartier-Bresson. But as color processes both diversified and grew more sophisticated, and further approaches to the medium developed, the floodgates were opened wide. Starburst examines the first great practitioners of artistic color photography in the United States: Eggleston, Shore, Levitt, Meyerowitz, plus Joel Sternfeld, William Christenberry, John Divola, Mitch Epstein, Jan Groover, Robert Heinecken, Barbara Kasten, Les Krims, Richard Misrach, John Pfahl, Leo Rubinfien, Neal Slavin, Eve Sonneman and many more. Grounded in reviews of sources from the 1970s, and with an abundance of images, this survey makes a thorough assessment of this paradigm shift in the history of art photography.

In the 1970s, critics began to write about "The New Color Photography." Many saw it as an assault on established standards for black-and-white art photography, while other recognized in work by such figures as William Eggleston, Stephen Shore, Mitch Epstein, Joel Sternfeld, Helen Levitt and Leo Rubinfien, featured here, an approach informed by photography's ubiquitous role in contemporary life. Featured image, "At Yaumati Typhoon Shelter, Kowloon, Hong Kong," 1980, is reproduced from Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980, the first historical survey on this important movement.

Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980

STATUS: Out of print | 00/00/00

For assistance locating a copy, please see our list of recommended out of print specialists

FROM THE BOOK
It is hard to imagine today that color photography was once controversial. What could be more natural, more ordinary than a color photograph? No one cared, of course, about the color picture in your wallet; it was the color photograph appearing on the wall of a gallery or art museum that caused the stir. Up until the 1970s, exhibitions of color photography were still rare enough. Aside from a few minor shows occurring during the early 1970s—modest, often overlooked exhibitions of color photographs by Robert Heinecken, Stephen Shore, Helen Levitt, and others—art photography, even by the mid-1970s, was predominantly black and white. The lid blew off in 1976 with an exhibition titled Photographs by William Eggleston, organized by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Few people, it seems, “got it,” and the catalogue essay by the show’s curator, John Szarkowski, only added kerosene to the barbecue grill. In that essay, printed on mint green paper, Szarkowski described Eggleston’s pictures as “perfect,” to which critic Hilton Kramer responded, famously, “Perfectly banal, perhaps. Perfectly boring, certainly.” Eggleston is today recognized as one of the most important photographers of the 1970s. What was it that sparked such confusion and agitation at the time? --Kevin Moore, excerpted from Starburst: Color Photography in America, 1970-1980.

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