William Eggleston

18 September - 27 November 2004

By now, William Eggleston's once seditiously catholic treatment of subject matter in photography has been consecrated in the liturgy of contemporary art. A generation of photographers inspired by Eggleston's innovations have attuned their eyes and cameras to the nuances of the seemingly innocuous. A generation of canny viewers possess a new sensitivity to everyday rapture. Yet an Eggleston remains unmistakably an Eggleston. Many of the artist's proclaimed inheritors, in their fussy husbandry of the banal, produce banalities. Others degenerate into visual fetishists. But Eggleston's style is distinctive in its ineffability. While his range of subjects is all-encompassing, and any overt intentions are self-consciously excised, every Eggleston photograph defines and confirms Eggleston's vision as consummately his own. ROSEGALLERY's exhibition includes some of Eggleston's most renowned images as well as previously unpublished pictures from the 1970s. Much of the iconography from the Eggleston pantheon resurfaces in these photographs: derelict signage, vintage cars and compressed interiors are all rendered in the artist's febrile palette. The most salient resonances evoked between the images are not the result of method or subject, however. Instead, the pictures hew to an attitude, an extemporaneous surety with which Eggleston slices the world along its grain, revealing convergences and alignments we suspect and hope for, but rarely have the privilege to witness.