Lee Friedlander Framed by Joel Coen

An exhibition of the inimitable photographer’s work, curated by the acclaimed filmmaker

New York City, 1969
gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 inches (sheet) [27.9 x 35.6 cm]

Fraenkel Gallery is pleased to announce Lee Friedlander Framed by Joel Coen, an exhibition of Friedlander’s photographs curated by the widely acclaimed filmmaker. Rather than focusing on a single subject or period, Coen’s selection concentrates on Friedlander’s singular approach to composition. Through the approximately 45 images in the exhibition Coen surveys the range of Friedlander’s 60+ year career, bringing many lesser-known images into the equation. The selection evidences an unexpected affinity between Friedlander and Coen, both of whose work explores the sly power of images. A new hardcover publication, with an introduction by Coen and an afterword by the actor Frances McDormand, accompanies the exhibition. In New York, Luhring Augustine will host a concurrent presentation of Friedlander’s photographs, from May 13 to June 24.

Cincinnati, Ohio, 1963
gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches (sheet) [40.6 x 50.8 cm]
Lee Friedlander, Jeffrey Fraenkel, Joel Coen, and Frances McDormand review prints by Lee Friedlander

Friedlander, Coen, and McDormand, long admirers of each other’s work, met in the spring of 2022 at Friedlander’s home outside of New York City. During the day-long visit the artists studied hundreds of photographs, ultimately leading to the selection that constitutes the book and exhibition.

Detroit, 1963
gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 inches (sheet) [27.9 x 35.6 cm]

Coen’s selection focuses on photographs that are dense and off-kilter, often bisected by stop signs and utility poles, car doors and windshields, trees and shadows. “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.

Sweden, 2005
gelatin silver print, 20 x 16 inches (sheet) [50.8 x 40.6 cm]
Dallas, 1977
gelatin silver print, 11 x 14 inches (sheet) [27.9 x 35.6 cm]

Lee Friedlander Framed by Joel Coen will be on view at both Fraenkel Gallery in San Francisco, and in New York at Luhring Augustine (May 13 to June 24). Both exhibitions will be accompanied by a special projection created by Coen, sequencing Friedlander’s images in unexpected and revealing ways. The book that accompanies the exhibition is published by Fraenkel Gallery and includes an expanded selection of 70 works. It will be available on both galleries’ websites.

Memphis, 2003
gelatin silver print, 20 x 16 inches (sheet) [40.6 x 50.8 cm]

Fraenkel Gallery will host a public reception with Lee Friedlander and Joel Coen on Saturday, May 6, from 2-4pm. Luhring Augustine will host a reception with both artists in New York on Saturday, May 13.

Victor, Colorado, 2001
gelatin silver print, 20 x 16 inches (sheet) [50 x 40.6 cm]

Ask About the Works in this Exhibition