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4 April – 21 June 2009
Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris


William Eggleston composes with his democratic view on Paris images that acquire Johann Sebastian Bach's structured rhythms

Paris, seen through the eyes of William Eggleston, one of the fathers of color photography and the key figure in American photography. The exhibition is on view at the Fondation Cartier.

William Eggleston once said that he "... had this notion of what I called a democratic way of looking around: that nothing was more important or less important." His photographs acquire the dynamic yet highly structured rhythms of Johann Sebastian Bach.

During the last three years, he has portrayed the local and the cosmopolitan, the glamorous and the gritty, the everyday and the extraordinary in the city of Paris through different seasons. William Eggleston has explored Paris to capture the many colors of the city. He has also renewed a long tradition of photographing Paris, as seen in the work such as Eugène Atget or Henri Cartier-Bresson. These historical predecessors become reference points for Eggleston’s new series of Paris photographs, to which he incorporates his unique style. The series remains, as much of Eggleston’s work, an adventurous balancing act, remarkably distinct in its approach to Paris as a subject for photography.

"When people ask me what I do," Eggleston has said, "I say that I am taking pictures of life today." Many of the images of the Paris series express this concern for the everyday. He captures two children playing at a café, motorcycles at a stoplight, reflections in car windows, graffiti on buildings, anonymous passers-by. William Eggleston photographs “democratically.” For him, this means that everything may potentially yield a picture, and every element within the picture should be of equal importance and interest. In a city of glorious monuments, his eye is continuously on subjects one would normally overlook; he finds strange beauty in the kitsch, the neglected and the disused elements of city life.

Alongside to the Paris Series, you will find at this exhibition William Eggleston's colorful, abstract paintings and drawings in small notebooks influenced by the work of painter Wassily Kandinsky and composer Johann Sebastian Bach.

About William Eggleston
Eggleston was born in 1939 in Memphis, Tennessee. In the early 1960s he started experimenting with black and white photography. By the end of the decade he had started creating primarily color photographs.
In 1976, John Szarkowski, Director of Photography at the MoMA, organized an exhibition of Eggleston’s work, one of the institution’s first solo shows of color photographs. This marked a turning point for the medium, which had been used almost exclusively for commercial aims.
At the News site of Eggleston Trust you will find statements from several editors about the photographer

Publication & Special Program
A publication accompanies the exhibition: 'William Eggleston, Paris' is a facsimile of the artist’s book, entirely created by William Eggleston. Here you can find his photographs of Paris and the abstract paintings. Published by the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris / Steidl, Göttingen; release date: April 2009.

Special program of performances and concerts on the occasion of the exhibition. Check out the calendar of the Nomadic Nights


fig.: William Eggleston, Untitled, Paris series, 2006­­–2008. © 2008 Eggleston Artistic Trust

Video: Trailer for the documentary about the photographer William Eggleston by Reiner Holzemer. Holzemer has founded his film production company in 1983. He is a specialist for movies about art. Holzemer has produced more than 30 documentary films for German public TV channels ARTE, ARD, ZDF... and private clients. Since 1993 he has directed more than 150 advertising spots.

The documentary was produced on occasion of the exhibition 'William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961-2008' at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York (7 Nov 2008 - 25 Jan 2009;

The exhibition travels from the Whitney to Europe. The short version of Reiner Holzemer's documentary will be screened at the William Eggleston exhibition at the 'Munichs Haus der Kunst' from 19 February to 19 May 2009 It will then return to the United States and will be on view at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington (20 June – 20 September 2009)...


Sawetz (C) 2009