New York Photo Review
Volume 4 Issue 49 Holiday Holidays! December 18 to 31, 2013

The Genetic Wars by Barbara Confino

Blue Skies
William Eggleston
At Zenith
Susan Sermoneta

Photo by William  Eggleston . Source: William Eggleston, "At Zenith I (from Wedgewood Blue)" 1979/2013

For me photographs of the sky usually belong in the same category as kitten, puppy, and pretty flower shots. And so expecting to zip through William Eggleston’s show at Gagosian in eleven minutes (one minute per image), I walked fairly quickly through the rooms, glancing at the images spaced out nicely on the walls.

But once I looked closely, I was drawn in. In my mind I was a little kid again, stretched out on the grass, watching the clouds go by. I wondered if the show should have been mounted on the ceiling, with visitors stretched out on foam mattresses on our backs.

I spent probably an hour examining the photographs, seeing in one of them a huge scary white mask with eyeholes; in another two cloud-people kissing; in another, two clouds in earnest conversation, fingers wagging to make their points; in another, a cloud about to take a bite out of another. (I could go on – but the experience was a lot like taking a Rorschach test and I'm reluctant to reveal more than I ought.)

Photo by William  Eggleston . Source: William Eggleston, "At Zenith XIV (from Wedgwood Blue)" 1979/2013

Then I looked again, slowly, and saw how the blue negative space in several images moved to the foreground and transformed the image into something new.

I saw how some of the clouds seemed still, some rushing around the sky, some traveling slowly toward other clouds. And how either clouds or sky in most images extended beyond each of the four corners of the frame, sometimes transforming the image into but a detail of something much larger. Standing an inch from a photograph, I saw how the white clouds differed in density and texture: some were thin and delicate, others chalky and rough, and on and on.

There's more to say, but it's a lot more enjoyable, I imagine, to go and experience the show for yourself. If that is, you can find the gallery!

William Eggleston
At Zenith

980 Madison Ave. 6th Fl
UES         Map

212 744 2313

Saturday, October 26 to
Saturday, December 21, 2013
Hours: Tues-Sat, 10 to 6

Making Caribbean Dance by Susanna Sloat