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Lee Friedlander: Letters from the People (Special Limited Edition with One Vintage Gelatin Silver Print: "I")

Publisher: New City, New York: New City, New York: Haywire Press, in association with D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, Inc., New York, 1993
Edition: 1st Edition
Binding: Hardcover
ISBN: 1881616053
Condition: As New / No dust jacket as issued
Item #: 112202



Price is net to all; promotional discounts do not apply.


Special Limited Edition of 180 total copies, with one loose vintage gelatin silver print. For the edition, Friedlander made five prints each of thirty-six different images (one for each letter of the alphabet and one for each number from 1 through 10). This copy is one from the [unnumbered] edition of 5 (for a print of the number "I"; other letter and number print variants available). Signed in pencil on verso (not numbered), with copyright stamp in black ink on verso. Print dimensions: paper size 11 x 8-1/2 inches; image size approximately 9-1/4 x 6-1/4 inches. Print is enclosed in a heavy blue paper stock, four-flap enclosure attached to the back cover. Book with enclosed print housed in a black cloth-covered slipcase (15-1/8 x 13-3/4 inches).

ABOUT THE BOOK: First edition, first printing. Signed by Friedlander. Hardcover. Black cloth-covered boards; no dust jacket as issued (for the Special Edition). Photographs by Friedlander. Includes a list of plates. 212 pp., with 213 tritone plates printed by Amilcare Pizzi, Milan, from tritone separations made by Thomas Palmer. 14-7/8 x 13-3/4 inches. [See: Peter Galassi, Friedlander. (New York: MoMA, 2005), "Books, Special Editions, and Portfolios" (pp. 444-459), #32.]

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.


As New (from Friedlander's personal archive).


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."