Lee Friedlander: Sticks And Stones: Architectural America (英語) ハードカバー – 2004/10/15
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In Sticks & Stones, Lee Friedlander offers his view of America as seen through its architecture. In 196 square-format pictures shot over the past 15 years, Friedlander has framed the familiar through his own unique way of seeing the world. Whether he's representing modest vernacular buildings or monumental skyscrapers, Friedlander liberates them from our preconceived notions and gives us a new way of looking at our surrounding environment. Shot during the course of countless trips to urban and rural areas across the country, many of them made by car (the driver's window sometimes providing Friedlander with an extra frame), these pictures capture an America as unblemished by romanticized notions of human nature as it is full of quirky human touches.
I don't consider this a book about architecture per-se, to me it's more Friedlander cityscapes and searching for interesting compositional ideas. In any case, the book is a bargain for it's size vs price.
Some nice videos of Lee too:
Here are 196 square format photos of buildings and street scenes that only Friedland could have taken. Turn over the first few pages and you'll immediately be aware of his trademark: utility poles and chain-link fences (though it could also be any kind of street furniture) which form an integral part of the way he sees what is beyond them. By placing these visual elements up-front creates all kinds of wonders when his camera reveals what is in the distance. Throughout the book you'll come across photos that just stop you because they are so overwhelming in detail, foreground vertical and horizontal shapes and shadows merge and frame buildings in the distance which also create other shapes between themselves.
So many of these images made me smile inwardly at the way Friedland saturates many photos with irregular shapes and shadows yet what he uses to do this is just the everyday environment. There is a playfulness here that will grab your imagination and nicely you'll discover something fresh each time you open the book.
Outstanding photos demand quality printing and the book's production is superb. Printed by Meridian of East Greenwich, Rhode Island, using three hundred screen duotones on a matt semi-coated paper (in an edition of 6,000). Meridian have printed several Friedlander books. Incidentally you can see seventy-one similar photos in the fascinating monograph Friedlander though I have the impression that not all are in Sticks & Stones.
The book is a visual celebration by one of America's great photographers.
***FOR AN INSIDE LOOK click 'customer images' under the cover.
I'm delighted to say it was worth the wait. Page after beautifully printed page of these compositional masterpieces in large format -- it's almost too good to be true.
Like other photographers of "Main Street" or the strip, Friedlander finds beauty in unlikely places. Or maybe it's that he has FUN in unlikely places. His special contribution seems to be in creating a breathtaking (and often comical) tension between polar opposites: order/disorder; flat/deep; simple/complex; central/peripheral; deadpan/melodramatic; earnest/ironic; subtle/obvious; and so on. Friedlander has photographed many great jazz musicians; these photographs suggest that he has been influenced by their music, as he creates great riffs on the raw material he finds in the built environment.
Incidentally, I've seen this book in the Architecture section of some bookstores, but don't be fooled -- it is not really about buildings.