William Eggleston's watershed exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1976, generated plenty of scorn and confusion, as spectators struggled to accept his seemingly ordinary-looking color images of Southern life as art. Early photographs by Stephen Shore, Helen Levitt, Joel Meyerowitz and others received similarly hostile or ambivalent reviews.
Color photography also had opponents within photography, most notoriously in Henri Cartier-Bresson. But as color processes both diversified and grew more sophisticated, and further approaches to the medium developed, the floodgates were opened wide.
Starburst examines the first great practitioners of artistic color photography in the United States: Eggleston, Shore, Levitt, Meyerowitz, plus Joel Sternfeld, William Christenberry, John Divola, Mitch Epstein, Jan Groover, Robert Heinecken, Barbara Kasten, Les Krims, Richard Misrach, John Pfahl, Leo Rubinfien, Neal Slavin, Eve Sonneman and many more.
Grounded in reviews of sources from the 1970s, and with an abundance of images, this survey makes a thorough assessment of this paradigm shift in the history of art photography.