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.
Presented in the square crop format that has dominated his look in recent series, and taken over the past decade, the nearly 200 images in America by Car are easily among Friedlander's finest, full of virtuoso touch and clarity, while also revisiting themes from older bodies of work (Friedlander occasionally used aspects of automotive architecture in photographs from the late 1960s and early 1970s). Never has America been photographed so penetratingly and ingeniously as in Friedlander's latest body of work. This edition of America by Car is limited to 1000 copies and is signed by Friedlander.
This catalogue is no longer available at the Museum Shop
Review: "Landscapes Framed by a Chevy"
--The New York Times
"a collection of brilliant observations about American people and places, their idiosyncrasies, eccentricities, and obsessions, and his love of all."
--The New Yorker
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
Review: "At 76, Lee Friedlander is still one of the greatest American photographers."
--The Washington Post
Slideshow: "the quintessential road trip."
Review: "a submersive sensory experience"
"Roadside Eye on America"
--The New York Post
"a perfect end-of-summer coda"
"this just might be his most dynamic and thematic project yet"
"The View From the Driver’s Seat"
--The New York Times, Wheels blog
Video: A preview of the exhibition
--WNET Sunday Arts