Lee Friedlander: Nudes
October 26–December 22, 2012
32 East 57th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY
NEW YORK, October 3—Pace and Pace/MacGill are honored to inaugurate their representation of the legendary American photographer Lee Friedlander in New York with Nudes and Mannequin, a two-venue presentation on view on the second and ninth floors of 32 East 57th Street, New York, from October 26 through December 22, 2012. The artist will be present at an opening reception on Saturday, October 27 from 2 to 4 P.M.
For more than five decades, Lee Friedlander has captured the American social landscape through his camera lens. Friedlander is known for his dynamic formal compositions and poignant visual juxtapositions of subjects drawn from American vernacular culture. A seminal figure in the history of photography, his lighthearted and ironic portrayals of the modern world explore the medium’s most central motifs, ranging from street scenes, landscapes and interiors to nudes, portraits, self-portraits, and still lifes.
Pace will present a selection of over fifty of Friedlander’s iconic black-and-white nudes from 1977 to 1991 in the second floor gallery of 32 East 57th Street. The images, taken with a hand-held Leica camera, range from closely framed figure studies to full-body shots that include elements of his subjects’ personal environments, who were almost always photographed in their homes. Friedlander’s nudes will be juxtaposed alongside Bill Brandt’s graphic and dramatic depictions of the female form and Edward Weston’s photographs of his wife and muse, Charis Wilson. Friedlander began photographing nudes in 1977 while teaching at Rice University in Texas at the casual suggestion of his friend and colleague George Krause, who was employing artist’s models for his own photographs at the time. Fifty-two images from this body of work were exhibited together for the first time in 1991 at The Museum of Modern Art in New York City. A new edition of the Nudes monograph, originally published in 1991, will be released in the spring of 2013 by Distributed Art Publishers.
Pace/MacGill will feature the first New York presentation of over twenty photographs from Friedlander’s newest body of work, Mannequin, on the ninth floor gallery of 32 East 57th Street. Taken between 2003 and 2011 with a hand-held 35-millimeter camera that Friedlander used earlier in his career, the new body of work depicts storefront windows in Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco. In Mannequin, Friedlander employs the reflective surface of urban display windows as a compositional device, returning to a technique he utilized in his street scenes of the 1960s. In the resulting visual hybrids, building facades and skylines are superimposed on mannequins' bodies and vice versa, with the dim presence of the photographer’s own reflection often entering the frame. The low vantage point of the photographs monumentalizes the plastic figures, emphasizing society's obsession with fashion and consumerism. A monograph devoted to Mannequin was published this year by Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco.
Lee Friedlander (b. 1934, Aberdeen, Washington) has been photographing the American social landscape since 1948. His work first came to public attention in the 1967 landmark exhibition, New Documents, at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, alongside that of Diane Arbus and Garry Winogrand’s. The many exhibitions devoted to Friedlander’s work since that time include a major traveling retrospective organized by The Museum of Modern Art in 2005. Friedlander’s photographs are collected in depth by major museums worldwide, including the Maison Europeene de la Photographie, Paris; The Metropolitan Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art in New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, among others. The artist recently donated eight photographs to the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in New York. Friedlander’s archive is located at Yale University, Connecticut.
Since 1970, Friedlander has created and supervised the production of over 30 monographs, including Self-Portrait (1970); The American Monument (1976); Flowers and Trees (1981); Lee Friedlander: Nudes (1991); Maria (1992); American Musicians (1999); The Little Screens (2001); At Work (2002); Sticks and Stones (2004); America by Car (2010) and Lee Friedlander: Mannequin (2012).
Friedlander is the recipient of numerous awards, including The International Center of Photography’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2006); the Erna and Victor Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography (2005); a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Award (1990); five National Endowment for the Arts Grants (1972; 1977; 1978; 1979; 1980); and three John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowships (1960; 1962; 1977).
Lee Friedlander lives in New City, New York.