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William Eggleston to be honoured at 2013 Sony World Photography Awards

05 April 2013

· Recipient of prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Photography award
· Iconic work to be exhibited at Somerset House, London from 26 April – 12 May
· Rarely seen images in 2013 Sony World Photography Awards winners’ book
· Selection of Eggleston’s images are available for publication at press.worldphoto.org

Renowned American photographer William Eggleston is announced today as the recipient of the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards’ Outstanding Contribution to Photography award.

Eggleston will be honoured at the Sony World Photography Awards Gala Ceremony in London on Thursday 25 April. A special display of his work will be shown at Somerset House as part of the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition and rarely seen images will be published in the 2013 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards winners’ book.

Recognised today as the pioneer of colour photography and the personal documentary style, William Eggleston has been producing cutting-edge work for over fifty years. Since first picking up a camera in 1957, Eggleston’s work is said to find ‘beauty in the everyday’. His images capture the ordinary world around him, creating interest through sharp observation, dynamic composition and great wit.

His ground-breaking 1976 show at the Museum of Modern Art, New York moved colour photography from the field of advertising to being recognised as an artform unto itself. His influence on contemporary photography and photographers is far-reaching and has inspired the likes of Martin Parr, Sofia Coppola, Andreas Gurksy and Juergen Teller.

Talking about the award Eggleston comments: “The world is in colour. To paraphrase my friend John Szarkowski, my attempt has been to see simultaneously, both the blue and the sky as one thing.”

Astrid Merget, Creative Director of the World Photography Organisation comments: “William Eggleston is a without a doubt, one of the great pioneers of our time. His influence on colour photography and subsequently on many of todays most revered working photographers, is one to be admired, respected and awarded. We are honoured to have the opportunity to present the Outstanding Contribution to Photography award to William this year.”

Williams Eggleston will receive the award on Thursday 25 April at the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards Gala Ceremony. On the same night, the winners of the awards’ professional categories and the overall L’Iris d’Or / Sony World Photography Awards Photographer of the Year will be announced.

A selection of Eggleston’s prints loaned by The Wilson Centre for Photography will be on display at Somerset House as part of the 2013 Sony World Photography Awards Exhibition from 26 April – 12 May.

The exhibition images were taken by Eggleston between 1965 and 1980. The majority of the prints are from his iconic Los Alamos and Dust Bells series and the 10.D.70.V1 portfolio. The exhibition opens the same week as a display of Eggleston’s dye transfers at the Tate Modern. To book tickets please go to: worldphoto.org/2013exhibition

A further selection of Eggleston’s images can be seen in the 2013 edition of the Sony World Photography Awards book. It includes a selection of rarely seen images and some of the photographer’s most recent work. The book costs £29.95 and can be purchased from www.worldphoto.org or from the exhibition.

Notes to editors


  • William Eggleston’s images are available to download via press.worldphoto.org To register for a press account please contact jill@worldphoto.org
  • A further display of around 30 dye transfers by William Eggleston will also be on display at Tate Modern from 22 April – Spring 2014. These works are drawn from Chromes, his seminal 1970s colour photographs, as well as Election Eve, taken around Jimmy Carter’s hometown in Georgia on the eve of the 1976 Presidential election. For more details please contact Duncan Holden, Tate Press Office, 020 7887 4939 or Duncan.Holden@tate.org.uk
  • About the World Photography Organisation

Created by the World Photography Organisation (WPO), the World Photography Awards, sponsored by Sony, launched in 2007. WPO supports professional, amateur and student photography, lending a global platform for the photographic industry to communicate, converge and showcase current trends in Photojournalism, Fine Art and Commercial photography. Delivering various initiatives and programmes across this global community, these programmes involve the photographer in commercial, cultural and educational activities within the many industry sectors, whilst also creating cultural activities for the public to participate in. Currently included within the WPO portfolio are the World Photography Student Focus Competition; the World Photo international festivals and events, and the World Photography Focus Programme.

For more information please contact
David Edwards.


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