Item description for Los Alamos by William Eggleston...
"I had this notion of what I called a democratic way of looking around, that nothing was more or less important," William Eggleston once said. This radical attitude guided his ground-breaking work in color photography, work that has prefigured many recent developments in art and photography. Los Alamos presents a series of photographs that has never before been shown, yet it contains a blueprint of Eggleston's aesthetics, his subtle use of subdued color hues, the casual elegance of his trenchant observations of the mysteries of the mundane. The photographs in Los Alamos were shot in Eggleston's native Memphis and on countless road trips across the American South from 1964 to 1968 and from 1972 to 1974. Initially, Eggleston wanted to create a vast compendium of more than 2000 photographs to be contained in 20 volumes; he wanted the viewer to look at the photographs the way one looks at the world. He eventually abandoned this project--and hardly any of the negatives were ever printed. Now, 30 years later, we finally get to see a selection of this encyclopedia of Southern everyday life and vernacular culture. It's a stunning discovery that makes the so-called snapshot photography of recent years pale in comparison. Eggleston's astonishingly timeless portraits, still lives, landscapes, and photographs of buildings add up to a profound investigation of the world and our way of looking at it, a poetics of pleasures hidden in full view. They transcend the merely descriptive and uncover the universal encapsulated in the details and the detritus of life in a consumer culture. Published in collaboration with Museum Ludwig, Cologne. One of the few genuises in photography. --Andy Grundberg The world is so visually complicated that the word "banal" scarcely is very intelligent to use. All days are similar, no matter what part of this planet we're in. --William Eggleston
Essays by Walter Hopps and Thomas Weski.
Hardcover, 11.75 x 11 in., 224 pages, 97 color illustrations
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"William Eggleston was born in 1937 in Memphis, Tennessee. He took his first black-and-white photographs at age 18 and soon became serious about photography, though he never studied it formally. His first color work was shot in 1964 in color negative film, but in the late 60s he began to use color slides; it was some of those slides that he brought with him to New York in 1967, when he met Diane Arbus, Lee Friedlander, Garry Winogrand, and John Szarkowski. It was Szarkowski who curated Eggleston's landmark 1976 solo exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York--a breakthrough in the perception of color photography as a serious form of fine art. The recipient of the 1998 Hasselblad Award, Eggleston's work was most recently seen in Documenta11 and in a major retrospective at the Fondation Cartier in Paris."
Reviews - What do customers think about Los Alamos?
Egglestomania Aug 10, 2008
A very nice Eggleston Book, nice color reproductions including some of his early works. What i like most is the size of the book wich makes it an atractive photography book to buy of one of the greatest masters of colour photography.
It's not about Los Alamos Aug 20, 2003
The photos in this book are not about Los Alamos, New Mexico. Although some of them may have been taken there, many--maybe most--are from Eggleston's familiar Deep South. One is done in an airplane flying over God-knows-where.
But the photos aren't about the locations. They are about color. And the main colors are red, white and blue.
If Eggleston's "...Guide" was photographed under the influence of the design of the Confederate flag (as Eggleston has claimed), then the framework and inspiration for this book are the colors of the American flag.
Robert Frank's monotone classic "Americans" had the underlying theme of the American flag. Eggleston's "Los Alamos" uses the colors of the flag as a motif. Shot over the years 1966 through 1974, there is a range of emotions within the photographs. There is cynicism--those were times ripe with cynicism--but there is also much found to admire in the American landscape at that time. Particularly the richness of the colors portrayed in the most banal and commonplace of subjects. In this arena, few photographic artists compare with William Eggleston.
No text distracts from the full-page photographs Jul 26, 2003
Los Alamos is a full-color, 175-page, photographic portrait of a New Mexican town. These images, captured on film by master photographer William Eggleston, range from 1966 to 1974 and superbly capture the ups, downs, scenery, and close-ups of a living, breathing city. No text distracts from the full-page photographs, which are presented as the works of art they are. This large sized compendium is a welcome and recommended addition to any personal, professional, academic, or community library Photography collection.
Insanely great photography Jul 23, 2003
Eggleston is a bit of a mystery. His photographs make you open your eyes wide and say, "Wow!" but it's hard to say what it is about them that is so stunning. This book is the best thing he has published to date and it offers the clearest window into Eggleston's genius that I've seen. Reproduced on large pages in rich colors that leap out and shake you until you splutter, these pictures bypass the intellect and kick your sense of raw beauty like a mule with a belly full of habaneros.
It's clear to you that the beauty is all about the color, or is it? What's happening with the composition? Soemthing is at the tip of your tongue, but try as you might, you can't say what makes these pictures so obviously works of great genius.
When you calm back down and try to figure how a book of pictures that look almost like snapshots could sting you so hard, the accompanying essay by Thomas Weski gives the best account of Eggleston's work that I've seen to date---short, but clearer and more insightful than Janet Malcolm's meditation on color and snapshots in Diana and Nikon or Eudora Welty's introduction to The Democratic Forest.
Spectacular book! Jun 20, 2003
This book is stunning! A large number of Eggleston's photographs beautifully printed on good paper. "Los Alamos" is one of the best photography books I have seen in years.