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David Zwirner is pleased to present an exhibition of the American photographer William Eggleston’s medium- and large-format photographs from the 1970s, many of which have never been exhibited before. On view at the gallery’s Hong Kong location, this exhibition marks the artist’s debut solo presentation in the Greater China Region.
Over the course of nearly six decades, Eggleston has established a singular pictorial style that deftly combines vernacular subject matter with an innate and sophisticated understanding of color, form, and composition. His vividly saturated photographs transform the ordinary into distinctive, poetic images that eschew fixed meaning. A pioneer of color photography, Eggleston helped elevate the medium to the art form that it is recognized as today.
Throughout the 1970s, Eggleston worked with a variety of cameras and photographic formats. In addition to using 35mm Canon and Leica cameras, he also photographed in medium and large formats. Historically, larger negatives and cameras had primarily been used for traditional portraiture or formalist photography, such as that of the modernists Imogen Cunningham and Edward Weston. Eggleston began exploring these formats, which were less popular in the snapshot, street-photography ethos of the 1960s and 1970s, for the high level of detail they offer, spearheading their use with color film and using them to further his investigation of the distinctive visual character of the American visual and material landscape. Capturing the storefronts, restaurants, homes, cars, and people of the cities, towns, and settings to which he traveled, these richly detailed images reveal the breadth and individuality of everyday life in often overlooked settings.
Image: William Eggleston, Untitled, c. 1973–1978 (detail)