Lee Friedlander @ Fraenkel SF

Lee Friedlander: Western Landscapes focuses on the photographs the artist made during a series of road trips through the 1990s and 2000s. Working with a large negative, a wide-angle lens, and photographing from unconventional vantage points, Friedlander’s square-format photographs draw the viewer into idiosyncratic qualities of the terrain while skewing expectations of beatific grandeur. Though Friedlander’s subjects include some of the west’s more dramatic landscapes, such as Yosemite, Death Valley, the Tetons, and Big Bend, his perspective is radically different from the idealized representations that have shaped the national conception of these oft-photographed treasures. Friedlander’s black-and-white landscapesincorporate a panoply of natural forms: swooping mountain ridges, mirrored lakes, twisting trees, and tufted grasses. Even in daylight, Friedlander frequently employs flash to create densely layered compositions melding foreground and background.

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