Although color photography has been around nearly as long as the medium of photography itself, most photographers made black-and-white film and paper the go-to-products for fine art photography until the late-1960s and early-1970s. Stephen Shore, Joel Meyerowitz, and William Eggleston were among the first wave of photographers to explore the saturated colors of new processes available in their time. While Shore and Meyerowitz shot street scenes and still lifes with large format cameras, Eggleston pursued his everyday subjects with a 35mm camera and set the medium of fire with a controversial survey show of his dye-transfer prints at the Museum of Modern Art in 1976.
Once the critics and public got over the shock of the new, color photography gained a credible spot in museums and galleries, and soon made black-and-white work a style of the past. Celebrating the pioneers of color photography, Edwynn Houk has inaugurated his Swiss outpost with a stellar exhibition of vintage prints by Shore, Meyerowitz, and Eggleston that not only offers work from a new era but also presents a look at a transitional time in America.
American Pioneers of Color is on view at Edwynn Houk Gallery in Zurich through December 18.
Click through below for a gallery of images.
Stephen Shore, Perrine, Florida, November 11, 1977, Courtesy Edwynn Houk Gallery, Zurich and New York