Lee Friedlander: Sticks & Stones
Essays by James Enyeart.
In Sticks & Stones, Lee Friedlander offers his view of America as seen through its architecture. In 192 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. Nevertheless, man's presence is not at stake here; streets, roads, façades and buildings offer their own visual intrigue, without reference to their makers. And in the end, it is not even the grand buildings themselves that prick our interest, but rather the forgettable architectural elements--the poles, posts, sidewalks, fences, phone booths, alleys, parked cars--that through photographic juxtaposition with all kinds of buildings help us to discover the spirit of an Architectural America.