Friday, March 6, 2015

Lee Friedlander - "the book is more my medium than the wall"

As a photobook maker and fan of Lee Friedlander's work I was intrigued to come across a piece in VICE - Photographer Lee Freidlander's Monumental Legacy in Books.

VICE magazine writes: In May 2013, Pratt Institute photography chair Stephen Hilger had a daring idea: to collect every book made by the photographer Lee Friedlander. After speaking to Friedlander, Hilger approached the director of libraries, Russell Abell, and explained that he wanted students to have access to Friedlander's complete bibliography. Abell not only agreed but took the plan a step further, suggesting that Pratt host an exhibition of the books in the library space.
The result was Lee Friedlander: The Printed Picture, an exhibition in Pratt's Brooklyn campus library that ran from April to October 2014, co-curated by Hilger and Peter Kayafas. The exhibition featured a conversation between Friedlander and his book-production team at the opening and culminating in what academic types call a Festschrift—a short book designed to accompany and celebrate the exhibition. The reason Hilger's initial idea was daring, and indeed the reason the acquisition of the books was worthy of celebration, is that Friedlander has published an enormous amount of them—almost 50, depending on how you count—in his career, which spans from 1969 to the present day. ("The book is more my medium than the wall," he has said.) For the exhibition, the cover of every Friedlander book was reprinted to exact size and hung on the wall along the staircases, almost in the way family pictures might be in someone's home. The magnitude of Friedlander's output was overwhelming—the book covers lined three flights of stairs.

You can read the complete VICE article HERE.

HERE is a link to Lee Friedlander's photographs in the collection of MoMA NYC.

And below just a few of Friedlander's book-works.

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