America by Car.
Photographs by Lee Friedlander.
D.A.P. & Fraenkel, 2010. 200 pp., 190 duotone illustrations, 9½x9½".
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 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.
About the Limited Edition
DAP/Fraenkel has decided to publish this book simultaneously in two very different editions. The oversized limited collector's edition of 1000 copies is signed and numbered. The dimensions are 13.5 x 15 inches.
Read George Slade's review of America by Car in photo-eye Magazine.
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