A luxurious three-volume box set of previously unseen images from the 1960s and 1970s by the father of American color photography
A New York Times Book Review 2021 holiday gift guide pickThe three volumes of The Outlands are drawn from photographs that William Eggleston (born 1939) made on color transparency film from 1969 to 1974, which formed the basis for John Szarkowski's seminal exhibition of Eggleston's work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1976 with the accompanying book William Eggleston's Guide. However, with the exception of a couple of alternate versions, none of the photographs in The Outlands have been published previously. The result is revelatory. Starting at almost the exact point on the same street in suburban Memphis where Eggleston made his famous photograph of a tricycle, the work follows a route through the back roads to old Mississippi where he was raised. What is disclosed is a sublime use of pure color hovering in semi-detachment from the forms he records. At the time, Eggleston was photographing a world that was already vanishing. Today, this final installment of his color work offers a view of a great American artist discovering the range of his visual language and an unforgettable document of the Deep South in transition.