Near Jackson, Mississippi
William Eggleston, American, born 1939
Eggleston’s one-man show of color photography at the Museum of Modern Art in 1976 was famously called “the most hated show of the year” by the New York Times, but it also stirred great interest. His pictures were radical for their use of color and flash at a time when black-and-white work still dominated art photography. His work was also radical for its ambiguity. Here, for example, Eggleston presents a seemingly insignificant moment captured in or around his family’s home in the Mississippi Delta. From within a dark corner of a room, shot from an oblique angle, we are shown a coat hanging precariously above what presumably is a crib. Despite the superficially straightforward presentation of this scene, its narrative is impossible to decipher.