DATE: 9/2/2010 | BY THE D.A.P. STAFF
The full New York Timespiece can be read here.
A slideshow can be viewed here.
The New Yorker's book blog PHOTO BOOTH also features a slideshow and article on the images, here.
From The New Yorker's
Photo Booth review by Elisabeth Biondi:
"For many years, three giants of photography headed west, to the American deserts, to take pictures and share camaraderie: Lee Friedlander, the American master photographer, Richard Benson, the great black-and-white printer, and John Szarkowski, MOMA’s legendary photography director. The three musketeers left a lasting imprint on photography, each in his own way; all had exhibits at MOMA and published many books. John Szarkowski died in 2007, but Benson and Friedlander are still going strong. Friedlander dedicated his superb book “America by Car” to his great friend.
Upon turning sixty-five, when asked to take an assignment, Friedlander answered, “I retired from everything except work.” When he had his retrospective at MOMA, The New Yorker asked him for an interview, and he responded to me sweetly with a “no,” explaining that he was pouring all the energy of his remaining life into taking as many pictures as he could. At seventy-six, Friedlander has an excellent new book, a museum exhibition at the Whitney, and a gallery show at Mary Boone (courtesy of his regular gallery, Janet Borden).
Photographers love taking pictures on road trips, especially in America. I cannot count on my two hands how many road-trip essays I have seen, Highway 1/101 being particularly popular with German photographers. Friedlander’s road pictures taken over the past decade are about three things central to his life: the American people, the landscape, and photography. He uses his rental car as a deceptively simple framing device, borrowing the built-in borders of its rear-view and side-view mirrors, windshield, and side windows. The result is a collection of brilliant observations about American people and places, their idiosyncrasies, eccentricities, and obsessions, and his love of all.
....his photographs are different from any others I have seen. They establish him as a five-star photographer in the firmament of American pictures. In Japan he would be considered a living treasure. Watch out for his next project."