Deborah Bell Photographs is honored to present MARIA, an exhibition of photographs by Lee Friedlander featuring his wife, Maria. Dating from 1958 to 2008, the pictures were taken during Maria and Lee’s early marriage, and throughout their family life as parents and grandparents. The 32 prints in the exhibition were selected by Friedlander for this venue, thus offering a special opportunity for his audience to see these pictures in a new and intimate context. Although most of the photographs on view are well known from their inclusion in Friedlander’s books and exhibition catalogues, and have appeared on the walls of many museum and gallery exhibitions internationally, this is the first exhibition devoted to Friedlander’s pictures of Maria, and contributes to the ongoing narrative of this fifty-year love story.
Lee Friedlander, born in 1934 in Aberdeen, Washington, began photographing the American landscape in 1948. With an ability to organize a vast amount of visual information in dynamic compositions, Friedlander has made humorous and poignant images among the chaos of city life, dense natural landscape, fellow artists, friends and family, and countless other subjects. Friedlander is also recognized for a group of self-portraits he began in the 1960s, reproduced in Self-Portrait, an exploration that he turned to again in the 1990s. Friedlander’s work was included in the highly influential 1967 New Documents exhibition, organized by John Szarkowski at The Museum of Modern Art. He was awarded Guggenheim Fellowships in 1960, 1962, and 1977, and received the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship in 1972, 1977, 1978, 1979, and 1980.
In 1990 Friedlander received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. In 2005, he was the subject of a major traveling retrospective and catalogue organized by Peter Galassi at The Museum of Modern Art, and was the recipient of the prestigious Hasselblad Award.
Friedlander received the International Center of Photography’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006. In 2010, the Whitney Museum of American Art exhibited the entirety of his body of work, America by Car. In 2015, Eakins Press published Friedlander’s earliest pictures of participants in the 1957 Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in Washington, DC, and the Yale University Art Gallery exhibited a selection of these photographs in 2017. This October, he received the Lucie Lifetime Achievement Award. As of this writing, a sixvolume suite of portraits by Friedlander of his fellow photographers Walker Evans, Garry Winogrand, William Christenberry, William Eggleston, John Szarkowski, and Richard Benson, titled Lee Friedlander: The Mind and the Hand, is in preparation and will be published by Eakins Press in the spring of 2019. Friedlander’s work is held in the collections of major institutions including the Art Institute of Chicago; George Eastman Museum; Metropolitan Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art; National Gallery of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Whitney Museum of American Art, among many others.
November 1, 2018 – January 19, 2019