Born in Memphis, Tennessee, and raised on a cotton plantation in the Mississippi Delta, Eggleston is known for his enormously influential color photographs of the American South. He began making black-and-white photographs in 1959, inspired by the photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson’s celebrated book The Decisive Moment. Eggleston turned to color in the late 1960s, photographing mundane subjects—parked cars, neon signs, the contents of his refrigerator—in a deceptively simple, snapshot-like style. His sensibility, like that of the writer and fellow Southerner William Faulkner, is both lyrical and lurid. Eggleston was one of the first noncommercial photographers to exploit the deeply saturated colors of the dye-transfer printing process, which allowed him to render the tawdry beauty of the South with a dreamlike intensity.
Inscription: Signed in ink on print, recto BR [below image]: "William Eggleston"; artist's stamp in black ink on print, verso BL: "William Eggleston's Guide, // c. 1972, printed 1986." ; BC: "Example three from an // edition of six." [edition numbers handwritten in pencil]; Signed in ink on print, verso BR: Wm [underlined] Eggleston; inscribed in pencil in unknown hand, BL to BC: "96"; "EG. 8465"
William Eggleston; Rosa Eggleston, Memphis; [Cheim & Read, New York]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "At War with the Obvious: Photographs by William Eggleston," February 26, 2013–July 28, 2013.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Poetics of Place: Contemporary Photographs from the Collection," December 12, 2016–May 29, 2017.
Eggleston, William. William Eggleston's Guide. New York: Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1976. p. 97.