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Eggleston, William (Photographer) & Szarkowski, John (Editor/Curator). WILLIAM EGGLESTON'S GUIDE. New York City, NY: Museum Of Modern Art, 1976. Hardcover. First Edition/First Printing. 112 pages. Fine.

Landmark collection of color photographs. One of the greatest photography books of the 20th century. The First Hardcover Edition. Precedes and should not be confused with all other subsequent editions, particularly the 2002 and 2011 Reissued Editions, which are themselves available in multiple subsequent printings. The First Edition is now rare. A brilliant production by Carl Laanes: Oversize-volume format. Black "pebbled" leatherette boards with a photographic reproduction pasted in front and gilt titles embossed on the cover and spine, as issued. Photographs by William Eggleston. Essay by John Szarkowski, one of the seminal essays on photography, not just Eggleston, ever written. Printed on pristine-white, glossy stock paper in the United States to the highest standards. Without DJ, as issued. Published on the occasion of the retrospective exhibition of the same apt name held at Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in 1976. Presents "William Eggleston's Guide". The ground-breaking and enormously influential distillation of his pioneering work. Despite the ensuing controversy, the first all-color photography exhibition of the images in this volume achieved two things almost overnight: It immediately established Eggleston's reputation as the most important photographer working primarily in color (after initially and intermittently working in black-and-white). It also made color itself a now-widely-accepted medium for serious art photography (no mean feat at the time precisely because color, having become the dominant choice, commercially and vernacularly, since its invention was thereby largely ignored as facile by serious photographers). Like a prodigiously talented writer who needed a great editor to give his work shape, phrasing, and rhythm, Eggleston needed John Szarkowski, who deserves credit for being the book's full-fledged collaborator. He worked with Eggleston to edit 375 images down to 75 for the exhibition and 48 for the book. Color remains a significant artistic challenge to this day: Your eyes "de-focus", do not know - despite what you think - what to look for in a color photograph, especially a bad one. Every image in color is inherently "all over the place", distracted, as it were, rather than focussed. Eggleston (as described by Szarkowski) shows that to be an effective colorist, one must, intuitively or consciously, use color as a formal element, that is, be a formalist. The work of a brilliant contemporary photographer like Alec Soth is contained, not just implied, in this Guide, and not just because of their shared subject matter. "At once ordinary and spectacular, they look like someone's not particularly interesting snapshots until their matter-of-fact gorgeousness kicks in" (Vince Aletti). An absolute "must-have" title for William Eggleston collectors. This title is a great art photography book. This is one of few copies of the First Hardcover Edition/First Printing still available online and is in especially fine condition: Clean, crisp, and bright, a beauty. Please note: It should also be noted that this copy is not "bowed", "slanted", or "skewed", as may be found in many other copies available online. Despite such flaws, the latter command hundreds of dollars. A rare copy thus. 48 color plates. "William Eggleston's Guide" was selected as one of the greatest photography books in "The Photobook". One of the greatest photographers of our time. A fine collectible copy. (SEE ALSO OTHER WILLIAM EGGLESTON TITLES IN OUR CATALOG). ISBN 0870703781. $400.00

This item is available for purchase. This web page was most recently updated on October 15, 2019.