Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Colour Before Color

In the most recent issue of Aperture, Martin Parr presents the predominantly unseen body of color photography that European practitioners were making contemporaneously with Americans such as William Eggleston, Stephen Shore, Joel Meyerowitz and Joel Sternfeld. Eggleston is somewhat historically credited as the artist who brought widespread acceptance to the vernacular of color photography with his landmark exhibition William Eggleston's Guide, which was exhibited at MOMA in 1976. Parr discusses why this assertion is somewhat exclusionary and unfair when surveying the history of color photography. Included in the issue is work from Danish photographer Keld Helmer-Petersen, whose aesthetic use of color is strikingly similar to that of Eggleston's, however, which predates Eggleston's work by at least 20 years. With the intention of widening the discourse of international color photography, Parr hopes to "re-assess the short and confused history of recent color photography by showing the work of European innovators who have been overlooked and eclipsed by their U.S. counterparts."

Other photographers included in this survey include Italian photographer Luigi Ghirri, Dutch photojournalist Ed van der Elsken, Spanish photographer Carlos Pérez Siquier and British photographers John Hinde and Peter Mitchell.

From Top To Bottom:

Keld Helmer-Petersen, Untitled 15, 1940's

Carlos Perez Siquier, Muñeca (Doll), 1974

Peter Mitchell, Eric Massheder, Leeds, 1975

John Hinde, from the John Hinde Butlin's Photographs

All Images © The Artists