Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lee Friedlander at Janet Borden

For years, the Janet Borden Gallery, at Prince and Broadway in NYC, has put out some nice bits of printed matter to advertise their upcoming shows. Of course, they have the images from a prestigious group of photographers to work with: Robert Cumming, Martin Parr, Larry Sultan, John Pfahl and Jan Groover to name a few.

They've also rep'ed Lee Friedlander for many years and have managed to build an impressive gallery of cards and booklets from just his shows. I'll present them chronologically, most recent to oldest, just to save the best for last. They start roughly around the time I moved to NYC and end about the time my kids got big enough that I couldn't spend all my free time wandering around town looking at art.

First up is an announcement card for a show that coincided with the mammoth retrospective of Friedlander's work at the Museum of Modern Art, NY. That show was exhaustive and exhausting but his work is some of my favorite so I'm always happy for an excuse the revisit it. The real treat--and for that matter, totally unseen by me up until then--were the portfolios and specially bound editions of his books. (Now those would be fun to collect. Maybe my next life...)

One more digression and I promise to get to the imagery.

The MoMA show closed at the time Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Friedlander has a history with the city so he and the Borden Gallery put together quite a few prints--all shot in New Orleans--that hung in the entrance area of the museum. They were for sale, the proceeds donated to disaster relief. I remember at the time thinking that the prices were cheap but not being a print-buying sort, I was probably just unaware of the retail value of his prints. I don't know if or how much money was raised but I thought it was a nice gesture.

(5.5 x 8.5 inch stiff card)

One side only

(13 x 6.25 inch stiff card, folded once to produce a 6.25 square, that opens horizontally)




2000 (7 x 5 inch stiff card)



(6.5 x 4.5 inch stiff card)



This show coincided with the publication of Friedlander's book American Musicians. Looking through it got me pawing through boxes of LPs to discover that I had Coltrane album with a cover shot by Friedlander. He's even credited on the jacket.

(4.5 x 6 inch stiff card)



Finally, here's a cool little booklet published in conjunction with a show of self-portraits. The show was up a couple of months before the release of the second edition of Self-Portraits, published by the Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco.

The scribble above his name on the second spread is his signature. You wouldn't think you could duplicate that but it's remained consistent over the years. For those not familiar with Friedlander's autograph, I've included an enlarged detail.

(7 x 7.5 inch stiff card cover with 8 glossy pages, saddle stitched)


First spread

Signature detail

Second spread

Third spread

Fourth spread

Fifth spread


And before we leave the subject of Lee, there's this item from the Hindustan Times:

Nude Madonna pic nets $37,000

A nude photograph of Madonna, taken when she was a struggling dancer in 1979, was sold for $37,000 at auction - more than double the $15,000 it was expected to fetch, Christie's auction house said Friday.

The buyer was identified as a European collector.

The picture, was taken by Lee Friedlander, who found then 20-year-old Madonna after placing an ad in a local paper. The explicit black- and-white picture and six others from the session appeared in a 1985 issue of Playboy.

Another risque photograph of Madonna by Helmut Newton sold for $18,750 at the auction. The image, which shows Madonna in lingerie next to a kneeling man, had been expected to fetch $15,000. © Copyright 2007 Hindustan Times

On Valentine's day...

I didn't realize that some of the images ran in Playboy but by following the links you can see the image that sold and the ones that ran in that issue as well as 40 more from the shoot. By the way, these are definitely NSFW.

That's it for now. Next posting is going to be an attempt to draw the fashion crowd. I figure, if I could get the fashion houses advertising here I could probably retire. Or at least get some new clothes. And brother, we're all going to need some help before this downturn is over.


Ignacio said...

Man your blog is awesome thanks for sharing all of this with us.

Best Regards

Ignacio from Chile

Don said...

Thanks Ignacio. Enjoy.