Lee Friedlander (born July 14, 1934) is an American photographer.
In the 1960s and 70s, working primarily with 35mm cameras and black and white film, Friedlander evolved an influential and often imitated visual language of urban “social landscape,” with many of his photographs including fragments of store-front reflections, structures framed by fences, posters and street signs. In 1963 he got his first solo exhibition in the George Eastman House in Rochester, and shortly thereafter produced a photo essay for Harper’s Bazaar. One of the photographs from this visual narrative, that of the baby on the TV screen at the foot of a motel bed, became famous.
Like Frank’s photographs, Friedlander’s images were interpreted as a merciless mirror of American society. Friedlander’s work is, however, much less emotional than Frank’s. His photographs from the 1960’s, in particular, seem to be about the movement of formal elements with respect to one another. The human figures in his street images seem misplaced, surrounded by visual pollution such as signs and advertisements, and disappear under the weight of reflections or under the shadow of the photographer who is taking the picture from outside of the frame. Friedlander always worked in series: street images, flowers, trees, gardens, landscapes, nudes, the industrial and post- industrial environment, portraits, self-portraits.