About the Photographer
American, b. 1939
Since the mid 1960’s, William Eggleston’s photographs have popularized the use of color photography within a fine art context. In 1973, he began using dye transfer printing, providing the color saturation found in his most iconic works. Taking a neutral and democratic stance towards his seemingly banal subjects--ranging from interiors of freezers to one exposed lightbulb on an otherwise bare ceiling--Eggleston has an uncanny ability to create interesting narratives through careful compositions, color, and lighting choices. Since the early 1980’s, he has photographed the sets of various films such as John Huston’s Annie (1982), David Byrne’s True Stories (1986), and Gus Van Sant’s Easter (1999), as well as the grounds of both the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and Paramount Picture’s studio lot in Hollywood. His work has influenced countless photographers, as well as musician David Byrne, filmmakers David Lynch, and Joel and Ethan Coen.
William Eggleston was born in 1939 in Memphis, TN, where he continues to live and work. He attended Vanderbilt University for a year, Delta State College for a semester, and the University of Mississippi for five years, but never completed a degree. Eggleston’s work has been shown extensively, including a groundbreaking 1976 solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, NY. A retrospective of his work travelled internationally from 2008 to 2011 and was exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York NY; the Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany; the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA. His work is held in the permanent collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA; Madison Art Center, Madison, WI; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX; Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; and the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA. Eggleston was made a Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters from the French Republic (2016), was awarded the Infinity Award for Lifetime Achievement from the International Center of Photography, New York (2004), and won the Gold Medal in Photography from The National Arts Club, New York (2003).