The New Color Photography
1981 Abbeville Press, NY
I adore this book, and have studied it religiously for many years. It could easily be used as the companion publication for the current exhibit at the Julie Saul Gallery, When Color Was New: Vintage Photographs From Around the 1970's
In fact, several photos in the Saul exhibit are in this book...
John Pfahl's Australian Pines (1977)
Joel Sternfeld's McLean, Virginia (1978)
And while the exhibit has received strong reviews....(see Vince Aletti's Critic's Notebook in the August 11th New Yorker and Ken Johnson's August 8th review in the New York Times)... it contains only 40 works by 20 artists...
Harry Callahan, William Christenberry, William Eggleston, Mitch Epstein, Walker Evans, Luigi Ghirri, Nan Goldin, Dan Graham, Jan Groover, David Hockney, Helen Levitt, Joel Meyerowitz, Paul Outerbridge, Martin Parr, John Pfahl, Arthur Siegel, Stephen Shore, Joel Sternfeld, Boyd Webb, Terry Wild.
Anyone wanting to explore this subject in greater detail would not be disappointed with Eauclaire's book, which includes 166 plates by 47 artists, many of the same names in the Saul exhibit, but also such notables as Emmet Gowin, Len Jenshel, Eve Sonneman, and Lucas Samaras (there are 11 women represented in the Eauclaire book)
Another book to consider is William Eggleston's Guide, the companion publication to the 1976 MOMA exhibition that is generally considered to be the serious start to color photography as art...
And finally, for another point of view, check out Aperture Magazine (Spring 2008, Issue 190) for Martin Parr's portfolio of European photographers whose work in colour during the 1970's was largely overlooked compared to the attention that American photographers received. This portfolio was presented as a Parr curated exhibit at Hasted Hunt Gallery in the summer of 2007.
When Color Was New @ Julie Saul Gallery
Colour Before Color @ Hasted Hunt Gallery
The New Color Photography by Sally Eauclaire