Friday, January 22, 2010

William Eggleston and Fine Art Photography

Southern photographer William Eggleston is widely credited with making color work acceptable as fine art photography, beginning with his 1976 exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art. Color work is now all-pervasive in galleries and museum shows, making B&W work today often seem dated, even quaint.

The story of Eggleston's work and its continuing influence on fine art photography is now the subject of a new book, Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980, by Kevin Moore, with contributions from James Crump and Leo Rubinfien.

Moore documents the work of Eggleston and other early practitioners of color photography, including images by Eggleston, Shore, Levitt, and Meyerowitz, plus a host of photographers they influenced including William Christenberry, Mitch Epstein, Jan Groover, Barbara Kasten, Les Krims, Richard Misrach, Eve Sonneman, and others.

Given the ubiquity of color work these days, its no surprise that for some time folks have been predicting a resurgence of B&W, but so far that hasn't happened. 

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