America by car

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D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Jul 31, 2010 - Photography - 193 pages
1 Review
Enduring icons of American culture, the car and the highway remain vital as auguries of adventure and discovery, and a means by which to take in the country's vast scale. Lee Friedlander is the first photographer to make the car an actual "form" for making photographs. Driving across most of the country's 50 states in an ordinary rental car, Friedlander applied the brilliantly simple conceit of deploying the sideview mirror, rearview mirror, the windshield and the side windows as a picture frame within which to record the country's eccentricities and obsessions at the turn of the century. This 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, landscapes and often Friedlander's own image, via sideview mirror shots. 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 Carare 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.

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Review: America by Car

User Review  - Kate Kaluzny - Goodreads

Friedlander is an amazing photographer and I love his concept here but I found the majority of the images a bit underwhelming. There was a handful that I loved but overall I wish there had been more that really worked for me. Read full review

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About the author (2010)

Born in 1934, Lee Friedlander is one of the world's most important living photographers. Among his previous books are the seminal "Self Portrait" and "The American Monument", and more recently, "American Musicians", "Letters from the People", "Little Screens", "The Desert Seen" and "Sticks & Stones". His work was the subject of a major 2005 retrospective at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, which travels to SFMOMA in 2008.