Like most fathers, Lee Friedlander has made photographs of his wife and children throughout their lives together. Unlike most fathers, Friedlander happens to be one of the greatest living photographers. In Family, Friedlander departs from his well-known terrain of the open road and the city street, focusing instead on his wife, Maria, his children and (later) his grandchildren. The result is an intimate narrative of a family’s complex life, from 1958 to the present. The subjects are natural and unaffected in front of the ever-present lens, and the pictures make it clear that Friedlander’s camera was a constant presence in the home, a natural extension of the artist himself. Over and over Friedlander recognized in an instant things that were precious and universal, yet specific to his own situation. Friedlander has done us a great honor by publishing these images. The inventive design of Family enhances the integrity of Friedlander’s family album.
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