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Lee Friedlander: Photographer of everything

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New York City
Lee Friedlander, New York City, 1966. Gelatin silver print. 5-3/4 x 8-11/16" Carl Jacobs Fund. MoMA accession #669.2000
Image courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

Lee Friedlander is known more for his body of work than for any one picture. Now in his 70s, Friedlander has had a camera in his hands for more than half a century. 

Self-portrait
Lee Friedlander, California, 1997. Gelatin silver print. 14-15/16 x 14-13/16" Robert and Joyce Menschel Fund. MoMA accession #547.1998
Image courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

MIA guest curator George Slade says Friedlander has an inexhaustible appetite for taking photographs, including landscapes, city scenes, nudes, TV sets, monuments, jazz musicians and self-portraits. 

Slade says the exhibition, with more than 500 images on display, reflects Friedlanders fascination with finding the art in even the most common scene.

Miles Davis
Lee Friedlander, Miles Davis, 1969. Ink jet print. 14-9/16 x 14-1/2" MoMA accession #1162.2000
Image courtesy of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts

"There are so many things that Friedlander's photographed, that it's hard to imagine he hasn't photographed something for just about everybody," mused Slade. "And there's a mundane quality to all of this and would hope that people would say 'Wow, that's really boring, but why can't I stop looking at it?'"

The Friedlander exhibition fills eight galleries in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. It follows Friedlander's in rough chronological order, starting with his portraits of jazz musicians in the 1950s and 1960s. 

The exhibition also presents for the first time a series of his American West landscapes.

"Friedlander: Photographs" is on loan from the Museum of Modern Art. It runs through September 14th.