WILLIAM EGGLESTON | Untitled (Iceburg Cafe, Western U.S.)

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Jackson Fine Art
Untitled (Iceburg Cafe, Western U.S.), 1972
Chromogenic dye coupler print
Signed in ink verso; Kodak stamp in red ink verso
3 1/2 x 5 in.


Private Collection, Memphis
Carole Thompson Fine Art, Santa Barbara, CA
Private Collection
Jackson Fine Art

William Eggleston (American, b.1939) is a photographer who was instrumental in making color photography an acceptable and revered form of art, worthy of gallery display. Eggleston's photography is widely known for his colorful, vibrant photos of everyday subject matter such as storefronts, cars, buildings, and more. Born and raised in the South, Eggleston was the son of an engineer and a local judge. He spent his childhood drawing, playing piano, and tinkering with electronics. He found great joy in cutting out the pictures in magazines and purchasing postcards and had a love of visual media. Eggleston attended boarding school in his teens, followed by a year at Vanderbilt University. He continued on to Delta State College, which held his interest for only one semester. He then studied for five years at the University of Mississippi, but still failed to receive a degree. While there, Eggleston became interested in photography.

Eggleston's color photography started in 1965, when he met William Christenberry. In 1960, Eggleston settled on color transparency as one of the main media he would use throughout his career. In 1973 and 1974, Eggleston was a teacher at Harvard University. He discovered the dye-transfer process while teaching and he developed the famous dye transfer photograph, The Red Ceiling in 1973. In 1976, Eggleston’s work was exhibited at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Throughout the years that followed, Eggleston published a number of portfolios, including Election Eve in 1976, The Morals of Vision in 1978, and Troubled Waters in 1980. In addition, Eggleston photographed the sets of several films, such as Annie and True Stories, in 1986. He also completed several record album covers for groups such as Big Star, Alex Chilton, Primal Scream, and Christopher Idylls. In 2003, he published Los Alamos, which contained his work from 1966 to 1974.