Luhring Augustine is pleased to announce a solo exhibition of acclaimed photographer Lee Friedlander, opening in our Chelsea location on September 12. The exhibition is Friedlander’s first with Luhring Augustine and his first New York gallery show since 2013. The presentation will highlight Western Landscapes (2016), produced after the artist’s major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 2005. The second gallery will feature a selection of work from other series, such as the rarely exhibited bodies of work Dressing Up: Fashion Week NYC (2015) and Chain Link (2017), as well as choice photographs from America by Car (2010). An online Viewing Room accompanies the exhibition, featuring videos by Giancarlo Roma, Partner of Haywire Press and Friedlander’s grandson, that provide his unique take on the series of works displayed in the show. Click here to see more.
Western Landscapes includes 190 images from his road trips through the 1990s and 2000s. Many of the black and white square-format photographs interweave background and foreground into cohesive images of pattern and texture; others give breadth to expansive vistas and atmosphere. Friedlander focuses on moments of overlap between the mundane and the beatific, the dramatic and the banal. He applies his trademark eye for contradiction to these sweeping, sublime landscapes by shooting from unexpected perspectives, clashing grandeur with the prosaic, and overturning the viewer’s expectation of nature’s majesty and splendor.
The selection will underscore the artist’s singular compositional style, offering an overview of the wide-ranging subjects on which the photographer has trained his lens. From cityscapes and portraiture, to still lifes and landscapes, the images reveal the overlaps and intersections between these motifs which Friedlander skillfully and deliberately merges within a single frame.
Friedlander’s vast oeuvre is marked by a voracious and nonhierarchical cataloguing of visual information. His focus is expansive, encompassing photos of intimate familial moments and self-portraits to strangers passing on urban streets; dense, sprawling cities to uninhabited desert environs; suburban window displays to signs spotted from car windows; and everything beyond and in-between. Through his highly distinguished approach to composition, often incorporating off-kilter framing and disorienting reflections that also foreground shadows that signify his own presence, Friedlander simultaneously reveals and capitalizes on photography’s limitations and possibilities.
Friedlander (b. 1934) began taking photographs in 1948 and in 1970 his iconic and groundbreaking Self-portraits was published, the first of many books that the artist has produced in his prolific career. In fall 2019 Powerhouse Books published, Friedlander First Fifty, a compilation of Friedlander’s first 50 books. In 2005, he was the recipient of the prestigious Hasselblad Award as well as the subject of a major traveling retrospective and catalogue organized by the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Friedlander’s work is held by major collections including Art Institute of Chicago; George Eastman Museum, Rochester, NY; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; San Francisco Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among many others. Friedlander is co-represented with Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, CA.