“It fascinates me that there is a variety of feeling about what I do. I’m not a premeditative photographer. I see a picture and I make it. If I had a chance, I’d be out shooting all the time. You don’t have to go looking for pictures. The material is generous. You go out and the pictures are staring at you.” —Lee Friedlander (1934)
Lee Friedlander is a seminal American photographer known for his innovative images of city streets. Often featuring candid portraits of people, signs, and reflections of himself in store front windows, Friedlander’s street photography captures the unexpected overlaps of light and content in urban landscapes. Influenced by the work of Eugène Atget and Walker Evans, he attempted to see things as if a step removed, spontaneously reacting to all the potential images in front of him. Along with Diane Arbus and Garry Winogrand, Friedlander was represented in the historic New Documents exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art in 1967, curated by John Szarkowski. He went on to publish his acclaimed photobook The American Monument in 1976, and more recently, in 2010, he published America by Car. Today, his photographs are held in the collections of the Art Institute of Chicago, The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, among others.