Support the Whitney
Become a founding member today.Join now
Driving across most of the country’s fifty states in an ordinary rental car, master photographer Lee Friedlander (b. 1934) applied the brilliantly simple conceit of deploying the sideview mirror, rearview mirror, the windshield, and the side windows as picture frames within which to record reflections of this country’s eccentricities and obsessions at the beginning of the twenty-first century. Friedlander’s method allows for fascinating effects in foreshortening, and wonderfully telling juxtapositions in which steering wheels, dashboards, and leatherette bump up against roadside bars, motels, churches, monuments, suspension bridges, essential American landscapes, and often Friedlander’s own image. Presented in the square crop format that has dominated his work in recent series, and taken over the past decade, the images in America by Car are among Friedlander’s finest, full of virtuoso freshness and clarity, while also revisiting themes from older bodies of work.
Lee Friedlander: America By Car is organized by Elisabeth Sussman, Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography.
“a collection of brilliant observations about American people and places, their idiosyncrasies, eccentricities, and obsessions, and his love of all.”
Review: “a very sophisticated sense of composition, and a great sense of visual wit”
—The Wall Street Journal
Review: “a revealing portrait of America as a beautiful, kitschy, gritty and diverse landscape.”
—Los Angeles Times
“this just might be his most dynamic and thematic project yet”
Read all news
This catalogue is no longer available at the Museum shop.View current publications