William Eggleston is an incredibly influential photographer, whose artistic discourse changed the way portraits are made and discussed. Although the title was not generally attributed to him, Eggleston is revered in this exhibition as a Portraitist.
From never-before-seen vintage prints to vibrant photographs using the newest and most intricate artistic methods, the 100 portraits on display at the National Portrait Gallery illustrate the honest, expressive nature of Eggleston's work. Photographs of friends and family near his home in Memphis, Tennessee and the Mississippi Delta make up a large portion of his creative output, often depicting mundane, everyday scenes of life - waiting at a bus stop, shopping, or ordering at a bar.
Eggleston, however, asks that the viewer to interpret the supposed mundanity of the photographs “democratically.” This imbues the whole exhibition with a phenomenological dimension, which compels the visitor to look beyond the physical photograph, and characterise, more accurately, the experience of Eggleston's subjects. The photographs inspire deeper questions about experience and the self in mid-to-late 20th Century America, committing Eggleston's work to the philosophical issue of individual subjectivity.
William Eggleston Portraits runs from 21st July – 23rd October 2016 at the National Portrait Gallery St. Martin's Pl, London WC2H 0HE.
Credit for thumbnail: Untitled, c.1975 (Marcia Hare in Memphis Tennessee) by William Eggleston, c.1975 ©Eggleston Artistic Trust
Tweet Follow @CamronPR Untitled, 1965 (Memphis Tennessee) by William Eggleston, n.d Wilson Centre for Photography ©Eggleston Artistic Trust Untitled, 1960s by William Eggleston, 1960s ©Eggleston Artistic Trust Untitled, 1960s by William Eggleston, 1960s ©Eggleston Artistic Trust