Filmmaker Joel Cohen Curates a Fascinating Selection of Lee Friedlander Photographs
Curated by the widely acclaimed filmmaker Joel Coen, a new exhibition at Luhring Augustine showcases approximately 45 of Lee Friedlander’s photographs that span the range of his 60+ year career, bringing into the equation many lesser-known images. Rather than focusing on a single subject or period, Coen’s selection concentrates on Friedlander’s singular approach to composition and evidences an unexpected affinity between the two artists, both of whose work explores the sly power of images.
Friedlander, Coen, and McDormand, long admirers of each other’s work, met in the spring of 2022 at Friedlander’s home in Upstate New York. During the day-long visit the artists studied hundreds of photographs, which ultimately led to the selection represented in the exhibition and the accompanying publication. This group of images is focused on compositions that are dense and off-kilter, often bisected by stop signs and utility poles, car doors and windshields, trees and shadows.
"As a filmmaker, I liked the idea of creating a sequence that would highlight Lee’s unusual approach to framing—his splitting, splintering, repeating, fracturing, and reassembling elements into new and impossible compositions." – Joel Coen