New American Color Photography

“Perfectly boring,” wrote the New York Times art critic Hilton Kramer of William Eggleston’s exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in 1976—the first major museum exhibition of color photography. What he (and the many other critics who panned the show) did not anticipate was that Eggleston’s exhibition would come to be considered the watershed moment for color photography. Alongside Eggleston in the late 1960s and ’70s, Joel Sternfeld, Stephen Shore, Richard Misrach, and a host of American photographers rewrote the photography rulebook through the use of color. These artists were later grouped by the term New American Color Photography, characterized by their use of color, focus on contemporary life, raw portraiture of suburbia, and …

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