Publisher: New York: D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc., 1993
Edition: 1st Edition
Condition: Fine / Near Fine
Item #: 111024
First edition, first printing. Hardcover. Fine cloth, with dust jacket. Photographs by Lee Friedlander. Includes a list of plates. 212 pp., with 213 tritone reproductions from separations by Thomas Palmer. 14-7/8 x 13-3/4 inches. This first trade edition was limited to 2750 hardbound copies.
Lee Friedlander’s work is widely known for transforming our visual understanding of contemporary American culture. Known for passionately embracing all subject matter, Friedlander photographed nearly every facet of American life from the 1950s to the present. From factories in Pennsylvania, to the jazz scene in New Orleans, to the deserts of the Southwest, Friedlander's complex formal visual strategies continue to influence the way we understand, analyze, and experience modern American experience. Friedlander's work continues to influence photographic practice internationally, in part due to the heightened sense of self-awareness that is a trademark of so many of his photographs and in part because of his ability to embrace wide-ranging subject matter, always interpreting it in an elegance that hadn't existed prior to his work.
Fine in Near Fine dust jacket (some rubbing to the front and back, and extremities).
From Booklist, by Gretchen Garner: "Like Friedlander's Nudes, Letters is about seeing photographically and is full of the strange, surreal found imagery, the jarring montages (really superimpositions in space), and the surgical framing that are Friedlander trademarks. The immediate subject is writing in public places--printed, painted, or hand-scrawled--that appears here first as single letters in alphabetical order, then, successively, numerals, combinations of numerals, and combinations of letters in signs and graffiti that contain messages of anger, violence, religion, sex, and love. There is no overall narrative, but the progression from elements to messages builds into a complexity of significance, ending with a graffito full of the lonely longing most graffiti betray: 'Everyday I calls a phone to her. Every night I dreams for her.' Thus a universal story is reflected, one that may be something of a projection of Friedlander's own mind, as, of course, are all these 'letters from the people.' Friedlander's work has always been best in books. Unsurprisingly, this one is superb--lavishly oversize, featuring page layouts of greater variety, and more complexly paced, as it were, than his other books."