Lee Friedlander

Lee Friedlander (Aberdeen, 14 luglio 1934) è un fotografo statunitense.

Friedlander ha studiato fotografia presso l’Art Center College of Design di Pasadena, in California. Nel 1956 si trasferisce a New York City dove ha avuto occasione di fotografare musicisti jazz, in particolare per le copertine dei loro dischi: nei suoi primi lavori è evidente l’influenza di Eugène Atget, Robert Frank e Walker Evans. Nel 1960, il Guggenheim Memorial Foundation aggiudica a Friedlander una borsa di studio, consentendogli di concentrarsi sulla sua arte e rinnovando successivamente le sovvenzioni nel 1962 e nel 1977. Alcune delle sue fotografie più famose appaiono nel numero di settembre del 1985 sulla rivista Playboy: si tratta di immagini di nudo in bianco e nero di Madonna, all’epoca studentessa e pagata 25$ per il servizio fotografico. Una delle immagini fu battuta a 37.500 $ in un’asta di Christie’s Art House.

Friedlander lavorava principalmente con Leica 35 mm e pellicola in bianco e nero, senza dedicarsi esclusivamente al ritratto: la sua fotografia è caratterizzata anche da immagini di vita urbana, riflessioni store-front, con strutture incorniciate da recinzioni e cartelli ed insegne a catturare l’aspetto della vita moderna.

Nel 1963, Friedlander espone al Museo Internazionale di Fotografia presso la George Eastman House nella sua prima mostra solista. Nel 1967 le sue fotografie compaiono nella mostra “New Documents” organizzata al Museum of Modern Art di New York insieme agli scatti di Garry Winogrand e Diane Arbus. Nel 1990, la Fondazione MacArthur gli concede una ulteriore borsa di studio.

Friedlander lavora oggi principalmente con fotocamere medio formato (ad esempio, Hasselblad Superwide). Sofferente di artrite e non autosufficiente, si è dedicato a fotografare i suoi dintorni: in questo senso, le immagini sono simili a quelli di Josef Sudek che ha anche fotografato i confini della sua casa e studio. Anche il suo libro “Stems” riflette la sua vita e le conseguenti limitazioni, ed è stato prodotto durante prima e dopo l’intervento chirurgico di sostituzione del ginocchio.

Nel 2005 il Museo d’Arte Moderna presenta una grande retrospettiva della carriera di Friedlander, tra cui quasi 400 fotografie dal 1950 ad oggi. Nello stesso anno ha ricevuto il Premio Internazionale Hasselblad. La mostra retrospettiva è stata presentata anche nel 2008 al San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA).

Fonte “Wikipedia”

Lee Friedlander (born July 14, 1934) is an American photographer and artist. In the 1960s and 1970s 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

Friedlander studied photography at the Art Center College of Design 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 Friedlander was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship to focus on his art, and was awarded 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 hand-held 35 mm 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 along with Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus. In 1973, his work was honored at the Rencontres d’Arles festival in France with the screening “Soirée américaine : Judy Dater, Jack Welpott, Jerry Uelsmann, Lee Friedlander” presented by Jean-Claude Lemagny. In 1990, the MacArthur Foundation awarded Friedlander a MacArthur Fellowship. 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; it was presented again in 2008 at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

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.

Friedlander began photographing parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted for a six-year commission from the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal beginning in 1988. After completing the commission he continued to photograph Olmsted parks, for twenty years in total. His series includes New York City’s Central Park; Brooklyn’s Prospect Park; Manhattan’s Morningside Park; World’s End in Hingham, Massachusetts; Cherokee Park in Louisville, Kentucky; and Niagara Falls State Park. On the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the design for Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art held an exhibition of Friedlander’s photographs of that park and a book was published, Photographs: Frederick Law Olmsted Landscapes.

It has been claimed that Friedlander is “notoriously media shy”.

He now works primarily with medium format cameras such as the Hasselblad Superwide.

Source “Wikipedia”

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