William Eggleston: His Circle & Beyond
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Dallas, TX
Before the Museum of Modern Art’s 1976 landmark exhibition, “Color Photographs by William Eggleston”, black and white photography was the standard. The history of color photography dates back to the 19th Century, but could be said it was mostly used without thought, ignoring the dimension of color. Most photographers before Eggleston found color perplexing, not able to translate into the fine art category of the past.
William Eggleston was one of the most significant artists of his time to crash the Color barrier by using it to amplify, but not overwhelm, with vivid detail his seemingly ordinary, personal environment.
Eggleston was from the South (b. 1939, Memphis, Tennessee). His subjects were commonplace. He photographed friends and family, rural and suburban landscapes, home interiors and ordinary objects that were personal to him, like diary entries. The compositions are simple, austere and precise. The images may be seen as vernacular color photography, but his framing, content and intensity separates his work from the iconic snapshot with a certain purity and intellect.
This exhibition will feature other southern artists that were influenced by Eggleston, and also includes contemporaries of Eggleston. William Christenberry, strongly influenced by Walker Evans and the South, also mastered the complexity of color to illustrate his Southern birthplace. Birney Imes worked with local subjects, some of his most important being the colorful juke joints in Mississippi.
Other Southern artists include William Greiner and Peter Brown, who have been working since the 1980’s.