Lee Friedlander: Apples & Olives
Photographs by Lee Friedlander.
The master photographer best known for his extensive, insightful documentation of "the American social landscape"--from jazz musicians to factory hands to New York pedestrians and office workers zoning out at their keyboards--has recently been spending more time looking at the literal, natural landscape. His monumental 2005 MoMA retrospective showed, for the first time, a new series of landscapes made in the American West, while for Olives and Apples, he has looked back over the last decade's work and culled a forest, tree by tree. His docile subjects, apple trees photographed in New York State and olive trees photographed in France, Italy and Spain from 1997-2004, are presented in circumstances ranging from sunny, leafy summer health to glittering winter ice-storm glory. Some of the most striking compositions are shot from just inside the reach of a tree's furthest twigs, so that expanding branching limbs fill the frame, stretching out around the viewer.