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In his selection of 70 photographs by Lee Friedlander, acclaimed filmmaker Joel Coen focuses on Friedlander’s beautifully strange sense of composition. In Friedlander’s unmistakable style, images are off kilter and visually dense, bisected and carved by stop signs and utility poles, store windows and reflections, car doors and windshields or shadows and trees. “As a filmmaker, I liked the idea of creating a sequence that would highlight Lee’s unusual approach to framing—his splitting, splintering, repeating, fracturing, and reassembling elements into new and impossible compositions,” Coen writes.
Featuring work spanning more than 60 years, the book includes selections from some of Friedlander’s most celebrated series, including The American Monument, America by Car, The Little Screens and others, arranged to draw connections between form and composition rather than subject. In an afterword, renowned actor Frances McDormand describes the bond between the two artists. Coen and Friedlander “hold mysteries that feel a bit connected,” she writes. “They both capture and fill frames with sometimes simple and other times chaotically elaborate images that cause us all to wonder.”