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Editorial: Features
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Lee Friedlander
at Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco, California
Recommendation by Cherie Louise Turner

Lee Friedlander, ''Tucson,'' 2011, photograph. © Lee Friedlander


Continuing through June 23, 2012


With this new body of work (created over the past three years and shown here for the first time) Lee Friedlander once again demonstrates why he is one of the most celebrated American photographers alive today. Now approaching the age of 78 he retains a fresh, albeit highly developed approach that features an outstanding ability to capture visual complexities and intriguing moments in everyday surroundings. That describes these shots of mannequins as found by the artist in storefront displays in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles


All twenty-eight images included here are black and white, thereby reducing color noise and making all the more evident the artist’s effective use of reflections, light, and shadow; the elegantly captured naturally occurring play of light and reflected image on windows, mirrors, and other surfaces gives these photos the appearance of being collages — at times to witty effect — so much does it seem as if parts from many pictures have been cut and pasted together. This also adds incredible depth to the work. The overall result: these works are mindbendingly surreal, all the more so because they’re real.


While it has long been the case that Friedlander has delivered stunning and highly original shots, it is worth noting that this exhibition delivers hit after hit, each photo providing another delightful visual puzzle to sink into.

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