Lee Friedlander (born 1934) began photographing in 1948. From 1953 to 1955, Friedlander studied photography with Edward Kaminski at the Art Center School, Los Angeles, California. He has been a freelance photographer since 1955.
His work was included in the influential 1967 exhibition New Documents at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, curated by John Szarkowski. His many monographs include Self-Portrait; Cherry Blossom Time in Japan; Letters from the People; At Work; and Sticks and Stones, among others.
In 2005 Friedlander was the subject of a major retrospective with a corresponding catalog at the Museum of Modern Art. In the same year he was the recipient of the 2005 Hasselblad International Award.
(1) Lee Friedlander: Signs (Fraenkel Gallery, 2019)
Since the early 1960s, Friedlander has focused on the signs that inscribe the American landscape, from hand-lettered ads to storefront windows to massive billboards.
Made in New York, San Francisco, and dozens of cities and small towns in between, Friedlander’s photographs record milk prices, cola ads, neon lights, road signs, graffiti, and movie marquees.
Depicting these texts with precision and sly humor, Friedlander’s approach to America transcribes a sort of found poetry of commerce and desire.
The exhibition Lee Friedlander: SIGNS is on view from July 11 through August 17, 2019, at the Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco.
(2) Lee Friedlander: The Mind and the Hand (Eakins Press Foundation, 2019)
In the 1960s and ‘70s, Lee Friedlander (born 1934) developed his signature approach to documenting the American “social landscape”: deadpan, structurally complex black-and-white photographs of seemingly anything, anybody or anyplace that passed in front of his lens.
But as he was making his name as a documentary photographer capturing the look and feel of modern American life, he was also photographing his closest friends, a practice he has continued throughout his long career.
A slipcased set of six paperback books, The Mind and the Hand presents the photographer’s intimate portraits of six of his best friends taken over the past five decades: Richard Benson, William Christenberry, William Eggleston, Walker Evans, John Szarkowski and Garry Winogrand. Each volume begins with a relevant quote from its subject.