The shots of William Eggleston, the man who transformed color photography into art

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It’s 1976 and the curator John Szarkowski presents the first retrospective of William Eggleston at the MoMA in New York. The exhibition goes down in history: it is the first time that a large museum hosts 75 color images. The critics are shocked. The revolutionary exhibition is not welcomed even by the great master of black and white photography Ansel Adams, who, indignantly, sends a letter to the New York institution.

But Szarkowski remains on Eggleston’s side, the only one then to recognize photography as an artistic practice and a great supporter of the everyday subjects and objects that Eggleston himself portrays. And he’s not mistaken, the 75 shots on display in the six-story building on 53rd Street sweep away fears and fears. Color photography, hitherto considered vulgar and advertising, officially becomes art. And Eggleston enters the Olympus of masters.

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His works up to the 4th of May are at C/O Berlin. To open the retrospective **Mystery of the Ordinary ** is an image of a metallic lilac Cadillac illuminated by the last rays of the day’s sun, while in the semi-darkness some plants stand out from the flower bed of a house.
Light and composition, everyday and ordinary are the terms that could simplify Eggleston’s signature. They might. Everything that appears banal to us once captured by the American artist’s lens becomes extraordinary and reality is filled with mystery: the streets, the cars, the breakfasts eaten and to be eaten, the portraits of the American community, the country which one comes from… they take an unusual view.

We particularly highlight the series Los Alamos, photographs taken in his native Memphis and on many road trips with his friends Walter Hopps and Dennis Hopper to New Orleans, New Mexico, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and elsewhere, in both color and black and white; and *__The Outlands, __*unedited images taken in Berlin between 1981 and 1988, to pay homage to the city that hosts it, on display for the first time.

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William Eggleston, Untitled, c. 1970-1973. Courtesy Eggleston Artistic Trust and David Zwirner

William Eggleston, Untitled, c. 1970-1973. Courtesy Eggleston Artistic Trust and David Zwirner

William Eggleston, Untitled, c. 1971-1974. Courtesy Eggleston Artistic Trust and David Zwirner

Source: Vanity Fair

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