William Eggleston: “Before Color”

The name William Eggleston brings with it several expectations: beauty found in mundane objects, all-American motifs, and color–loads of it.

Known for legitimizing color photography as a media worthy of galleries and museums, Eggleston’s best-known photographs emanate the brightest hues; they are full of sudden shocks of lush greenery, cherry red tricycles, cold steel Cadillacs.

Expect none of the typical Eggleston themes from an exhibit that opens at the Netherlands FotoMuseum on June 16, 2012. One couldn’t imagine a location much farther from Eggleston’s beloved middle America than the Netherlands, and so it serves as the perfect stage for “Before Color.” The exhibit focuses solely on Eggleston’s black-and-white photography. It’s a strange concept certainly and inevitably ignores some of the photographer’s best work. But it allows us a glimpse of Eggleston before we all knew him–perhaps before he knew himself.

“Before Color” runs from June 16, 2012-August 28,2012 at the Netherlands Fotomuseum, Rotterdam. For more information, visit the Fotomuseum’s website.

Kit Warchol