The magazine of the art-form of the photo-essay
July 2016 issue
by William Eggleston
“A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine. Fabulous!”
Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
William Eggleston Portraits
is at the National Portrait Gallery, London
21 July - 23 October
organised with support of the artist and the Eggleston Artistic Trust
William Eggleston Portraits (21 July to 23 October) at London’s National Portrait Gallery will bring together over 100
works by the American photographer, renowned for his vivid, poetic and mysterious images of people in diners, petrol
stations, phone booths and supermarkets.
Widely credited with increasing recognition for colour photography, following his own experimental use of dye-transfer
technique, Eggleston will be celebrated by a retrospective of his full career, including a selection of never-before seen
vintage black and white photographs from the 1960s taken in and around the artist’s home in Memphis, Tennessee.
Since first picking up a camera in 1957, Eggleston’s images have captured the ordinary world around him and his work
is said to find ‘beauty in the everyday’. His portrayal of the people he encountered in towns across the American South,
and in Memphis in particular, is shown in the context of semi-public spaces.
Between 1960 and 1965, Eggleston worked exclusively in black and white and people were Eggleston’s primary subject,
caught unawares while going about ordinary tasks. In the 1970s, Eggleston increasingly frequented the Memphis night
club scene, developing friendships and getting to know musicians and artists. His fascination with club culture resulted
in the experimental video ‘Stranded in Canton’, a selection of which will also be on view at the exhibition. ‘Stranded in
Canton’ chronicles visits to bars in Memphis, Mississippi and New Orleans.
Eggleston’s 1976 show at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, is considered a pivotal moment in the recognition of
colour photography as a contemporary art form. His work has inspired many present day photographers, artists and
filmmakers, including Martin Parr, Sofia Coppola, David Lynch and Juergen Teller.
Curator Phillip Prodger, Head of Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery says, “Few photographers alive today
have had such a profound influence on the way photographs are made and seen as William Eggleston. His pictures
are as fresh and exciting as they were when they first grabbed the public’s attention in the 1970s. There is nothing
quite like the colour in an Eggleston photograph – radiant in their beauty, that get deep under the skin and linger in
Untitled, c.1975 (Marcia Hare in Memphis Tennessee) by William Eggleston, c.1975 ©Eggleston Artistic Trust.
Untitled, 1974 (Karen Chatham, left, with the artist's cousin Lesa Aldridge, in Memphis, Tennessee) by William
Eggleston, 1974 Wilson Centre for Photography ©Eggleston Artistic Trust.
Untitled, 1965 (Memphis Tennessee) by William Eggleston, n.d
Wilson Centre for Photography ©Eggleston Artistic Trust.
Untitled, c.1970 (Devoe Money in Jackson, Mississippi) by William Eggleston, c.1970 ©Eggleston Artistic Trust.
Untitled, c.1980 (Joe Strummer) by William Eggleston, [c.1980]
©Eggleston Artistic Trust.
Untitled, 1974 (Biloxi, Mississippi) by William Eggleston, 1974 Wilson Centre for Photography ©Eggleston Artistic Trust.
Untitled, 1973-4 by William Eggleston, 1973-4 ©Eggleston Artistic
Untitled, 1973 - 4 (Dane Layton) by William Eggleston, 1973
©Eggleston Artistic Trust.
Untitled, 1970-4 (Dennis Hopper) by William Eggleston, 1970–74 ©Eggleston Artistic Trust.