Self portrait (1960)
July 14, 1934 |
Aberdeen, Washington, U.S.
Lee Friedlander (born July 14, 1934) is an American photographer and artist. In the 1960s and 70s, working primarily with 35mm cameras and black and white film, Friedlander evolved an influential and often imitated visual language of urban "social landscape," with many of his photographs including fragments of store-front reflections, structures framed by fences, posters and street signs.
Life and work
Friedlander studied photography at the Art Center College of Design located in Pasadena, California. In 1956, he moved to New York City where he photographed jazz musicians for record covers. His early work was influenced by Eugène Atget, Robert Frank, and Walker Evans. In 1960, the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation awarded Friedlander a grant to focus on his art and made subsequent grants in 1962 and 1977. Some of his most famous photographs appeared in the September 1985 Playboy, black and white nude photographs of Madonna from the late 1970s. A student at the time, she was paid only $25 for her 1979 set. In 2009, one of the images fetched $37,500 at a Christie's Art House auction.
Working primarily with Leica 35mm cameras and black and white film, Friedlander's style focused on the "social landscape". His photographs used detached images of urban life, store-front reflections, structures framed by fences, and posters and signs all combining to capture the look of modern life.
In 1963, Nathan Lyons, Assistant Director and Curator of Photography at the International Museum of Photography at George Eastman House mounted Friedlander's first solo exhibition. Friedlander was then a key figure in curator John Szarkowski's 1967 "New Documents" exhibition, at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City along with Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus. In 1973, his work was honored in Rencontres d'Arles festival (France) with the screening "Soirée américaine : Judy Dater, Jack Welpott, Jerry Uelsmann, Lee Friedlander" présentée par Jean-Claude Lemagny. In 1990, the MacArthur Foundation awarded Friedlander a MacArthur Fellowship.
Friedlander now works primarily with medium format cameras (e.g. Hasselblad Superwide).
Whilst suffering from arthritis and housebound, he focused on photographing his surroundings. His book, Stems, reflects his life during the time of his knee replacement surgery. He has said that his "limbs" reminded him of plant stems. These images display textures which were not a feature of his earlier work. In this sense, the images are similar to those of Josef Sudek who also photographed the confines of his home and studio.
He was awarded The Royal Photographic Society's Special 150th Anniversary Medal and Honorary Fellowship (HonFRPS) in recognition of a sustained, significant contribution to the art of photography in 2003. In 2005, the Museum of Modern Art presented a major retrospective of Friedlander's career, including nearly 400 photographs from the 1950s to the present. In the same year he received a Hasselblad International Award. The retrospective exhibition was presented again in 2008 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Concurrent to this retrospective, a more contemporary body of his work, America By Car, was displayed at the Fraenkel Gallery, also in San Francisco. America By Car was on display at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City in late 2010.
- E.J. Bellocq: Storyville Portraits. Photographs from the New Orleans Red-Light District, Circa 1912. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1970. Photographs reproduced from prints by Friedlander; preface by Friedlander.
- Self Portrait. New City, NY: Haywire Press, 1970.
- The American Monument. New York: Eakins Press Foundation, 1976. ISBN 0-87130-043-5.
- Lee Friedlander Photographs. New City, NY: Haywire Press, 1978.
- Factory Valleys: Ohio & Pennsylvania. New York, NY: Callaway Editions, 1982. ISBN 0-935112-04-9.
- Lee Friedlander Portraits. Boston: Little, Brown, 1985. ISBN 0-8212-1602-3.
- Like a One-Eyed Cat: Photographs by Lee Friedlander, 1956-1987. New York: Harry N. Abrams in association with the Seattle Art Museum, 1989. ISBN 0-8109-1274-0.
- CRAY at Chippewa Falls: Photographs by Lee Friedlander, Cray Research, Inc., 1987. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 86-73134
- Nudes. New York: Pantheon Books, 1991. ISBN 0-679-40484-8.
- The Jazz People of New Orleans. New York: Pantheon Books, 1992. ISBN 0-679-41638-2.
- Maria. Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1992. ISBN 1-56098-207-1.
- Letters from the People.
- Bellocq: Photographs from Storyville, the Red-Light District of New Orleans. New York: Random House, 1996. ISBN 0-679-44975-2. Photographs reproduced from prints by Friedlander.
- The Desert Seen. New York: Distributed Art Publishers, 1996. ISBN 1-881616-75-4.
- Viewing Olmsted: Photographs by Robert Burley, Lee Friedlander, and Geoffrey James. Montréal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1996. ISBN 0-920785-58-1. By Phyllis Lambert.
- American Musicians: Photographs by Lee Friedlander. New York: Distributed Art Publishers, 1998. ISBN 1-56466-056-7. By Friedlander, Steve Lacy, and Ruth Brown.
- Self Portrait, second edition. New City, NY: D.A.P. / Fraenkel Gallery, 1998. ISBN 1-881616-96-7. By Friedlander and John Szarkowski.
- Lee Friedlander. San Francisco: Fraenkel Gallery, 2000. ISBN 1-881337-09-X.
- Lee Friedlander at Work. New York: Distributed Art Publishers, 2002. ISBN 1-891024-48-5.
- Stems. New York: Distributed Art Publishers, 2003. ISBN 1-891024-75-2.
- Lee Friedlander: Sticks and Stones: Architectural America. San Francisco: Fraenkel Gallery, 2004. ISBN 1-891024-97-3. By Friedlander and James Enyeart.
- Self Portrait, third edition. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2005. ISBN 0-87070-338-2. By Friedlander and John Szarkowski.
- Friedlander. New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2005. ISBN 0-87070-343-9. By Peter Galassi.
- Cherry Blossom Time in Japan: The Complete Works. San Francisco: Fraenkel Gallery, 2006. ISBN 1-881337-20-0.
- Lee Friedlander: New Mexico. Santa Fe, NM: Radius Books, 2008. ISBN 978-1-934435-11-3. By Friedlander, Andrew Smith, and Emily Ballew Neff.
- America by Car. San Francisco: Fraenkel Gallery, 2010. ISBN 978-1-935202-08-0.
- "Nude photo of Madonna goes for $37,500". CNN. 02-12-2009.
- "McDonald, Jessica. Ed. Nathan Lyons : Selected Essays, Lectures, and Interviews. Harry Ransom Photography Series.". Austin: University of Texas Press. 2012. Pg. 10.
- Royal Photographic Society's Centenary Award Accessed 13 August 2012
- "Exhibition Overview: Friedlander". San Francisco: Museum of Modern Art.
- "Fraenkel Gallery: Past and future exhibitions". Art Net.
- "Lee Friedlander: America By Car, September 4 – November 28, 2010". Whitney Museum of American Art. Retrieved 2010-12-14.
- Lee Friedlander at the Museum of Modern Art
- Janet Borden, Inc. Friedlander's New York representatives
- Lee Friedlander's photogravures at Panopticon Gallery
- Lee Friedlander at MutualArt
- Lee Friedlander at Masters of Photography
- Lee Friedlander at Pace/MacGill Gallery
- Lee Friedlander’s nudes of Madonna
- Lee Friedlander at Victoria and Albert Museum, London
- Bibliography at ArtBook