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William Eggleston
Before color
HC, 22.5 x 25,5 cm., 200 pp.
Steidl 2010

"For many, William Eggleston is the American photographer who helped secure colour photography's place as a legitimate artistic medium, bringing it to the elitist galleries who would previously only accept black and white. It was only a few years ago, when a crate containing some of Eggleston's earliest work - all shot in black and white - was found in Memphis's William Eggleston Artistic Trust, that the artistic beginnings of this colour photography supremo were unearthed. The photographs immediately went on show at New York's Cheim & Read gallery and, of course, all sold.

Now "Before Color" (...) reunites the photographs in their entirety. Each plate has been scanned in from original prints developed by Eggleston in his darkroom to display the motifs and styles which went on to define Eggleston's career - the diners, supermarkers, domestic interiors and people engaged in banal situations all remain the same.

It was in the mid 1960s when William Eggleston discovered colour photography ?And by God, it worked. Just overnight.? He never went back to using black and white, but the fundamental effect it had upon his work are undeniable." (Jack Lowe at

Edited by Chris Burnside, John Cheim, Howard Read, Thomas Weski together with the Eggleston Artistic Trust; with an Essay by Dave Hickey


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