Lee Friedlander: Cherry Blossom Time in Japan
The Complete Works
I first went to Japan in 1977 and found the whole country ablaze with blossom. I went again in 1979, 1981 and 1984, always at cherry-blossom time. As far as I knew, Japan was always abloom. So says the legendary American photographer Lee Friedlander, whose newest publication presents, for the first time, the complete set of 73 images that the artist made during his four trips to Japan. The groundbreaking black-and-white images--first seen as 25 photogravures in a 1986 portfolio, and long out of print--appear as examples of radical picture-making even 20 years later. Few serious photographers would have dared to photograph cherry blossoms with anything other than color film. The result is a new kind of beauty, with many of the compositions bordering on visual chaos. The images collected here serve as a precursor for much of Friedlander's late landscape work, which was exhibited to great acclaim in his 2005 Museum of Modern Art retrospective. Printed by the laborious dry-trap process, the amazingly sensuous reproductions closely approximate the original prints. This book was produced entirely in collaboration with the artist.