Starburst: Color Photography in America at the Cincinnati Art Museum

Construct IID, 1980

Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970 – 1980
Cincinnati Art Museum, February 13 – May 9, 2010

Garish, pedestrian and commercial – that’s how critics characterized color photography in the 1970s. It was in fact an explosion of color and the beginning of a new form of art. Starburst: Color Photography in America 1970-1980 is the first survey of a burgeoning period in photography. Through the work of artists such as Barbara Kasten, William Eggleston, Stephen Shore and Mitch Epstein, conventions of the snapshot are turned into high art.

Untitled 9, 1975

Starburst offers the first historical survey of what critics of the 1970s called “The New Color Photography,” a loose artistic movement that generated much controversy and excitement in a multitude of exhibitions and publications throughout the decade. Addressing various themes, such as the technological factors contributing to color’s emergence, cultural biases against color photography’s use as an art form, and shifting attitudes between formalist and conceptual practices, the exhibition explores color’s role in the transition between modern and contemporary approaches to art photography during the 1970s.