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William Eggleston: Democratic Camera, Photographs and Video, 1961-2008 (Whitney Museum of American Art) Hardcover – December 2, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Whitney Museum of American Art
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The Whitney Museum of American Art; First Edition edition (December 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300126212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300126211
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 9.9 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #821,921 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Besides more than 134 plates, this invaluable retrospective contains stills from Eggleston's cinema verité videotape Stranded in Canton and six cogent, jargon-free essays, the best by Eggleston's longtime writer friend, Stanley Booth."—Booklist
(Booklist 2008-12-15)

"Some of the images—an oven interior, shower stall, ceiling with electrical cords and light bulb—are classics. But this catalog . . . goes back to Eggleston's black-and-white work and extends to videos, becoming the most comprehensive volume on a master it's impossible to overrate."—Alan G. Artner, Chicago Tribune
(Alan G. Artner Chicago Tribune 2008-12-28)

About the Author

Elisabeth Sussman is curator and Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography, Whitney Museum of American Art, and editor of Gordon Matta-Clark: “You Are the Measure.” Thomas Weski is chief curator of the Haus der Kunst, Munich. Tina Kukielski is senior curatorial assistant, Whitney Museum of American Art. Stanley Booth is an independent music critic and writer. Donna De Salvo is chief curator and associate director of programs, Whitney Museum of American Art, and coeditor of Lawrence Weiner: AS FAR AS THE EYE CAN SEE.

 

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By H. Domke on December 26, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Sum: My favorite photo book of 2008

Pros:
* 227 Eggleston prints in vibrant color - I'm tempted to frame some.
* This large well-crafted hardbound book is a bargain at $40

Cons:
* Ugly cover
* 14-pages of the book cover a video from 1974 that has nothing to do with his main body of work.
* Erratic writing quality by 5 authors (why so many writers?)

Better writing about Eggleston can be found in the New Yorker. My favorite art critic Peter Schjeldahl writes:

"You can always tell a William Eggleston photograph. It's the one in color that hits you in the face and leaves you confused and happy, and perhaps convinces you that you don't understand photography nearly as well as you thought you did."

"He shoots like a shutterbug and executes like a painter."

In case you are wondering about the the use of the word "Democratic" in the title, it has notthing to do with politics. Instead it has to do with the way Eggleston picks the subjects he photographs. "I had this notion of what I called a democratic way of looking around: that nothing was more important or less important."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Raymond Elstad on January 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I read in the New Yorker that Eggleston was having a retrospective at the Whitney and immediatly went on line to see if there was a catalogue. There was and I now have it and am happy that I do. His iconic images are here of course as well as many that I've never seen before. A wonderful collection of his work and one that I will share with my photo students at Palomar College in San Marcos, CA.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By W. Rosen on August 16, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is sort of a general reader or introduction to William Eggleston's photography meant to accompany the retrospective exhibition. Hopefully seeing some of the images in here will wet your appetite to look further into his work and pick up some of his classic books like Eggleston's Guide. None of the images from Paris are in here.
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Format: Hardcover
If you don't already own Egg's earlier books like Los Alamos and Guide, this is the best overview available. I wish I'd been able to see the Whitney show this catalog represents. The reproduction of Democratic Camera is good but nothing compares to a dye transfer print. Some of the reviews here don't like the essays in the book. I liked some of them, especially Stanley Booth, whose Memphis hipster credentials are top shelf. I also own the Stranded in Canton video/DVD/book. Some of the still frames from this are in Democratic Camera but, for me, the video is a priceless, exceedingly strange, black and white dream that the still frames merely hint at. I am a career video cameraman and my first experience with the medium was with the same Sony Portapack reel-to-reel recorder/camera combo in 1972. I appreciate how far Eggleston went to adapt this early technology-- fast lenses combined with infrared vidicon imaging tubes, shooting in virtual darkness with the tip of a lit cigaret illuminating a face. Combined with the strange characters and locales Egg preferred, the video stands alone as an original major art form. I like Democratic Camera a lot and recommend it. Eggleston is a genius, a drunken genius who's not afraid to get down in the gutter and party with the back street low life city folk, then start all over the next day with his countrified aristocratic cousins in North Mississippi.
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