The Fondation Cartier pour l'art contemporain in Paris had William Eggleston commissioned to do a series on the city of Paris.
The result is typical Eggleston: Quick snapshots of life in a city. The frame of the picture cuts many objects and figures apart. Some pictures are taken from awkward angles. Some could be taken anywhere, some are very Parisian.
He says: ‘You are not quite sure: Is this Paris, Mexico City, elsewhere? I did not change my style for Paris.’
In 1976 Mr. Eggleston was the first photo artist, to whom John Szarkoski, Director of Photography at MoMA New York devoted the first exhibition of color photographs in this museum. That is why many say that Eggleston introduced color photography to the art world. Before it was considered just an advertising tool.
He became famous for pictures of his trips through the Southern states of the US. He did small-scale photos of everyday life there. Since these days, his work has become a lot more abstract.
'When people ask me what I do - I say that I am taking pictures of life today.'
As nearly everything is worth a picture for him, his photos are often considered 'democratically'. The Whitney Museum of American Art showed last year a large retrospective of his work titled ‘Democratic Camera’.
Hervé Chandès, chief curator at the Fondation Cartier, convinced Mr. Eggleston for the first time to show also his drawings. They are mostly done by colored pens and completely abstract. Eggleston says: ‘The relation of my photos and my drawings lies in their attention to composition which would include colors working with or against other colors.’
by Chris Neuschler
William Eggleston: Paris at Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain in Paris,France, from 4 April to 21 June 2009