William Eggleston at Museum Ludwig

William Eggleston at Museum Ludwig

March 7, 2003

William Eggleston
Los Alamos
15/03/2003 - 09/06/2003

Museum Ludwig
Bischofsgartenstraße 1
D-50667 Cologne
Tel: +49/221/221-22379
Fax: +49/221/221-24114


“I had this concept of a democratic way of perceiving, as I call
it. That nothing is more or less important”. These words by William
Eggleston characterize perfectly the conceptual approach of the American
photographer to the description of the everyday. The Museum Ludwig
presents for the first time the series “Los Alamos” in
conjunction with the Eggleston Artistic Trust in Memphis.

William Eggleston, born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1937 is regarded as
the “inventor of colour photography” since his spectacular
exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1976. In contrast to other
photographers he uses colour in a targeted way rather to arouse the
observer’s emotions and not so much to present a detailed
description of the objects photographed. His motifs present everyday life in the
southern states of the USA, although they go far beyond the objects depicted and
are of universal character. During the last thirty years his works have
met with increasing appreciation and he is regarded as one of “the
few men of genius in photography” (Andy Grundberg, New York Times). His
works are in the tradition of realistic photography and have exerted a profound
influence on the style of 20th century photography. The influence and
significance of Eggleston’s work is comparable with that of Eugene
Atget and Walker Evans.

“Los Alamos” is a series which has so far not been
exhibited. It represents the typical colour-photography of the early phase of the
artist. Now the Ludwig Museum is presenting the world premiere of the
“Los Alamos” series. More than 75 hitherto unpublished colour
photographs by Eggleston, who participated in Documenta 11, will be shown to the public
for the first time.

The “Los Alamos” photographs were taken between 1964 and
1974 during numerous trips to the southern states of the US. William
Eggleston’s original plan was to create a portfolio comprising his photographs to
provide observers with a visual view of the world which reflected his
experience. The project, however, was never realised and now, thirty
years on, we are given the opportunity to view an extract from this
encyclopaedia of everyday life.

Following its presentation in Cologne this exhibition will also be shown
in the Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, Porto, the Museet for
Samtidskunst, Oslo, the Louisiana Museum of Art, Humlebaek, the
Albertina, Vienna, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Dallas Museum of

A catalogue on the exhibition will be published by the Scalo publishing
house with texts by Walter Hopps and Thomas Weski. It will be available
at the museum at a price of EUR 40.

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March 7, 2003

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