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Distributed Art Publishers
From Library Journal
In the six photo essays compiled in this well-designed volume, widely admired American photographer Friedlander (e.g., The American Monument) presents images of factory, technology, and telemarketing workers. This visual workplace odyssey starts with "factory valleys" in Ohio and Pennsylvania in 1979 and ends in Omaha, NE, with "telemarketing" in 1995. Throughout, Friedlander centers his black-and-white photographs on the faces of individual workers-bored by repetition, firm in vocational resolve, or frozen for a moment in a physically demanding job. Benson (dean, Yale Univ. Sch. of Art) gives Friedlander a helping hand with a comforting afterword that connects these portraits of work with its reality. Maybe it is unfair to expect a collection of photo essays, commissioned by companies or art institutions, to show us something we never knew before, but a photography book succeeds or fails by its images. With no surprises to convey-we already know that many jobs are tedious and that the people stuck in them drift into a trance to get through the day-this book seems like an effort merely to expand the Friedlander bibliography. Recommended for comprehensive collections only.
David Bryant, New Canaan Lib., CT
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
About the Author
Lee Friedlander has had a distinguished career as a photographer. Among his many awards are a MacArthur Foundation Award, grants from the National Endowment of the Arts, and three Guggenheim Fellowships. He has previously published dozens of books, among them the seminal Self Portrait and The American Monument, and, more recently, American Musicians, Letters from the People, Little Screens, The Desert Seen, and Kitaj. He lives in New York State, but takes pictures everywhere. read more
In the Industrial North at the end of the 1970s, people were at work using hands and machinery to make things we all use. In the mid 80s, in Wisconsin, they built supercomputers; at the same time, near Boston, they typed on desktop computers. In New York City, in the early 90s, people stood on stock floors, trading. In 1995, in Omaha, they sat at computers, cold calling as telemarketers; and in Cleveland, in that same year, they used their human skills in traditional ways to once again craft products we all depend on. Work, work, work--we spend the better part of our lives on the job, be it in a factory or an antiseptic office, or somewhere else in the vast assembly line in between. Tireless photographer Lee Friedlander, the maniacally inclusive but blessedly nonchalant cataloguer of Americana--her monuments, jazz musicians, and urban landscapes--here presents 16 years of Americans at work. A collection of commissioned portfolios, some made at the request of art institutions, others at the behest of company CEOs, Lee Friedlander At Work also documents, albeit subtly, 16 years of one of America's most exceptional and hard-working photographers--at work.
Lee Friedlander might be the most versatile photographer alive. --Malcolm Jones, Jr., Newsweek
Essay by Richard Benson.
Hardcover, 11.5 x 12 in., 96 pages, 231 duotones