TUCSON, AZ.- The Center for Creative Photographys latest exhibition examines national identity as seen by a keen observer. Lee Friedlander: American Monuments opened in the Centers main gallery. The show runs through August 3, 2008. Two gallery walks are planned in June, the first titled An Architects Perspective, given by Distinguished Professor of Architecture at the University of Arizona, Corky Poster. Britt Salvesen, Director and Chief Curator at the Center, will lead the second talk, titled The Curators Point of View.
The theme of the American monument pervades Lee Friedlanders decades-long investigation of the social landscapea photographic genre he formulated in the late 1960s and subsequently refined to a height of finesse. Taking frequent cross-country car trips with his family, Friedlander observed monuments of various sorts cropping up in photographs he took along the way. He began to pursue the theme in earnest, and soon had enough pictures to compile into a book. The American Monument was published in three different editions by Eakins Press in 1976.
Towering over or glimpsed alongside cars, tourists, power lines, stoplights, and other signs of contemporary life, the monuments point toward the collective sense of history that motivated their construction. Absorbed in or at odds with their surroundings, they also suggest the accommodation of the past within the present. Selective comparisons, by artists such as Eugène Atget, Walker Evans, and Garry Winogrand, suggest points of departure for Friedlanders unique exploration of a rich and inexhaustible theme.