Lee Friedlander

1934 · United States

Artist biography

Lee Friedlander is an American photographer known for his visual black and white pictures. From people to streets and things, his work shows a unique point of view of the “American” social landscape. Born on July 14, 1934, in Aberdeen, Washington, Lee Friedlander's interest in photography struck him in his early teenage years. And then studied at the Art School in Los Angeles before moving to New York City in 1956. Friedlander started his career as a freelance photographer for Jazz music labels and magazines such as Esquire and Sports Illustrated. Lee Friedlander dynamic aesthetic approach emerged along with the generation of “street photographers”, using “aesthetic snapshot” to focus on the ordinary contemporary urban life. The realism of the urban and the use of black and white cameras led the artist to explore over this simplicity. Friedlander’s photographs use reflexions of windows, glass doors, and other architectural objects. And push the limits of street photography by providing a completely new and deeper viewing experience by incorporating street signs as framing tools introducing yet another way to perceive the city and life. As Lee Friedlander once said, “You don’t have to go looking for pictures. The material is generous. You go out and the pictures are staring at you.”. The unlimited explorative process became Lee Friedlander's signature; the street becomes a living subject. Friedlander has published numbers of books such as Work from the Same House with Jim Dine (1969), Self-Portrait (1970) and The Jazz People of New Orleans (1992). Today, Lee Friedlander’s photographs are shown in major art museums such as the Metropolitan Museum in New York. And he has been awarded by three Guggenheim Fellowships; five National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships; and a MacArthur Foundation Award, referring Lee Friedlander’s art as a milestone for street photography and the history of photography.

Lee Friedlander

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