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Joel Sternfeld: Walking the High Lineby Joel Sternfeld
Synopses & Reviews
This is the first book of Sternfeld's largely unseen early colour photographs. In 1969 Sternfeld began working with a 35 mm camera and Kodachrome film, and First Pictures contains works from this time until 1980. Here Sternfeld develops traits that appear in his mature work: irony, a politicised view of America, concern for the social condition. But there are also pictures that bear little relation to his later work: colour arrangements that parallel those of Eggleston, as well as street photography which Sternfeld ceased making in 1976. The photographs in First Pictures were made at a time when colour photography was struggling to assert itself against the authoritative black and white tradition, making this book a revelation both in Sternfeld's oeuvre and in the history of contemporary photography.
Sometimes resembling a river of grass, sometimes more like the wheat fields of the Canadian prairies, the High Line is a unique ruin that simultaneously permits contemplation of nature and the city. Since March 2000, photographer Joel Sternfeld has been documenting the abandoned elevated railway line which runs for 1.5 miles along the West Side of New York City, from 34th Street down along the edge of the Hudson River, through West Chelsea's tree-lined blocks and art galleries, and into the heart of the Meat Packing District. Walking the path of this real-time landscape, Sternfeld has created a suite of images in which the landscape is read as both a social and cultural indicator.
Since March 2000, photographer Joel Sternfeld has been documenting the abandoned elevated railway, the High Line, which runs down the West Side of Manhattan. Sometimes a river of grass, sometimes more like wheat fields of Canada, this unique ruin permits contemplation of nature, and of cityscape.
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