William Eggleston - Photographs London Wednesday, November 1, 2017 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Gagosian Gallery, Los Angeles

  • Literature

    William Eggleston: Los Alamos, Zurich: Scalo, 2003, p. 161
    William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961-2008, New York: Whitney Museum of American Art, 2008, pl. 44
    Room Service: vom Hotel in der Kunst und Künstlern im Hotel, Baden-Baden: Kunsthalle, 2014, p. 172, there titled, Untitled, (Motel Room with Fluorescents)

  • Catalogue Essay

    'I’ve never felt the need to enhance the world in my pictures, because the world is spectacular enough as it is.'
    William Eggleston

    This intriguing image is from William Eggleston’s celebrated Los Alamos series. Named after the nuclear testing site in New Mexico, Los Alamos consists of images taken between 1965-1974 across the southern United States, from New Orleans to Santa Monica.

    Eggleston’s observation of beauty captures unexpected moments in the everyday world surrounding him. In the present work, the contrast of the cold fluorescent light against the intense darkness of the motel room demonstrates Eggleston’s ability to create arresting compositions from unremarkable settings. This was one of 75 images, selected from over 2,000 negatives, that were published in the 2003 Los Alamos portfolio.

  • Artist Biography

    William Eggleston

    American • 1939

    William Eggleston's highly saturated, vivid images, predominantly capturing the American South, highlight the beauty and lush diversity in the unassuming everyday. Although influenced by legends of street photography Robert Frank and Henri Cartier-Bresson, Eggleston broke away from traditional black and white photography and started experimenting with color in the late 1960s.

    At the time, color photography was widely associated with the commercial rather than fine art — something that Eggleston sought to change. His 1976 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, Color Photographs, fundamentally shifted how color photography was viewed within an art context, ushering in institutional acceptance and helping to ensure Eggleston's significant legacy in the history of photography.

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Pigment print, printed 2012, flush-mounted.
Image: 80 x 121.9 cm (31 1/2 x 48 in.)
Frame: 112.4 x 151.8 cm (44 1/4 x 59 3/4 in. )

Signed in ink by the artist, titled, dated, numbered 1/2 in pencil in an unidentified hand, printed Eggleston Artistic Trust copyright credit reproduction limitation on a label affixed to the reverse of the flush-mount.

£50,000 - 70,000 

Contact Specialist
Genevieve Janvrin
Co-Head of Photographs, Europe
+44 20 7901 7996

Yuka Yamaji
Co-Head of Photographs, Europe
+44 20 7318 4098


London Auction 2 November 2017