Lee Friedlander - America by Car

8 June 2012 - 1 September 2012 The National Museum of Photography


Photo: Lee Friedlander

In June the exhibition America by Car by the legendary master photographer Lee Friedlander opens. In 192 black-and-white photographs, all taken from the interiors of rental cars, he draws a remarkable portrait of modern USA.

On various road trips over the past decade Friedlander (b.1934) has travelled through most parts of USA in rental cars. Without ever leaving the car he has documented eccentricities and iconic sides of modern USA seen through car windows and side and rear mirrors.

In the exhibition’s many pictures we travel through the wilds, majestic mountain landscapes and big cities, and we see some of the people Friedlander met on his journeys. But every motive is framed and distanced by the interior of the car.

In this way Friedlander creates visual encounters, where steering wheel and dash board collide with classic American landscapes, motels, monuments, trucks and road signs. Often we also get a glimpse of Friedlander himself in the side mirrors.

Friedlander began photographing in the 1950’s and in the beginning of the 1960’s he became a part of the innovative and highly influential group of documentary photographers in New York, such as Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand and Diane Arbus.

America by Car was published in 2010 by Fraenkel Gallery and D.A.P and has been exhibited at Whitney Museum of American Art in New York and at Timothy Taylor Gallery in London.