It's difficult to imagine a time when color photography was considered inappropriate for museums, but in fact that was the case not too long ago. Then William Eggleston's 1976 exhibition at MoMA--and his accompanying book, William Eggleston's Guide--changed the course of art photography in the United States. His photos are remarkable both for their intense color and for the way they capture scenes that are banal yet arresting--an ordinary boy reading a gun magazine, a blood-red room with a single spare lightbulb, two women in an ambiguously sexual posture on a seedy couch. The Whitney's absorbing exhibition spans Eggleston's long career, from his mildly interesting early black-and-white work through his breakthrough years in the 70s to his recent photos, which present a world that's glossier than it once was, but still unerringly enigmatic.
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