June 30, 1944 |
New York City, New York, United States
Joel Sternfeld (born June 30, 1944) is a fine-art color photographer noted for his large-format documentary pictures of the United States and helping establish color photography as a respected artistic medium. He has many works in the permanent collections of the MOMA in New York City and the Getty Center in Los Angeles. He has influenced a generation of color photographers, including Andreas Gursky, who borrows many of Sternfeld's techniques and approaches.
Sternfeld earned a BA from Dartmouth College and teaches photography at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. He began taking color photographs in 1970 after learning the color theory of Johannes Itten and Josef Albers. Color is an important element of his photographs.
American Prospects (1987) is Sternfeld's most known book and explores the irony of human-altered landscapes in the United States. To make the book, Sternfeld photographed ordinary things, including unsuccessful towns and barren-looking landscapes.
Another book, On This Site: Landscape in Memoriam (1997), is about violence in America. Sternfeld photographed sites of recent tragedies. Next to each photograph is text about the events that happened at that location.
Sternfeld has also published books about social class and stereotypes in America (Stranger Passing (2001)), an abandoned elevated railway in New York (Walking the High Line (2002)), and Sweet Earth: Experimental Utopias in America (2006).
When It Changed (2007) contains close-up portraits of delegates debating global warming at an United Nations conference in Montreal.
- 2011: Joel Sternfeld – Farbfotografien seit 1970, Museum Folkwang, Essen, Germany
- 2011–2012: Joel Sternfeld – Color Photographs since 1970, Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, Netherlands
- 2012: Joel Sternfeld – Farbfotografien seit 1970, Albertina, Wien, Austria
- Jessica May (ed.): Joel Sternfeld. First Pictures, Steidl, Göttingen, Germany 2011 ISBN 978-3-86930-309-3
- Hunt, Melinda; Joel Sternfeld. Hart Island. ISBN 3-931141-90-X.
- Official webpage
- Luhring Augustine gallery
- Steidl site on When It Changed
- Forbes article on Sternfeld's best-known photographs
- "The High Line" photographs by Sternfeld published in Cabinet Magazine
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