"The Mind and the Hand" by Lee Friedlander


I recently stumbled across Lee Friedlander’s new book “The Mind and the Hand” completely by accident.  I did a search on Amazon looking for new Garry Winogrand material and this book came up.  The book looked interesting so I took a shot and ordered; $90 isn’t cheap but I always enjoy seeing Friedlander’s work.  “The Mind and the Hand” definitely exceeded my expectations

The book is actually six 60 page softbound books in a slip case.  Each book has between 25 and 34 of Friedlander’s photographs and documents a photography icon: William Eggleston, John Szarkowski, Richard Benson, William Christenberry, Walker Evans, and Garry Winogrand.  Each book also has a brief lecture excerpt by the featured photographer which adds the right amount of information to deepen the viewers understanding of the individual.

I was familiar with a few of the photographs but not most.  I would also say most of the images are snapshots.  But these are wonderful snapshots and, in this context, they form a fantastic document of each featured photographer.  These people were Friedlander’s friends and peers and many of the moments he photographed were very personal like Winogrand’s wedding.  I love the images of these photographers out photographing.  As a photographer I am always interested in how other photographers approach the medium and Friedlander’s photographs give a wonderful insight to six icons of photography.

The book was released in April by Eakins Press Foundation and was printed by Meridian Printing in East Greenwich, Rhode Island.  The print quality is beautiful and I really like the intimate size of the book of 8.8” square.  I think Katey Homans did a perfect job with the design and I am assuming that Lee Friedlander’s Archivist, Stephanie Prussin, edited the images.  I am very happy with this purchase and would suggest it to anyone interested in documentary photography.

Featured Photographers

William Eggleston

John Szarkowski

Richard Benson

William Christenberry

Walker Evans

Garry Winogrand

 

Book Details: 

·        Paperback: 240 pages

·        Publisher: Eakins Press Foundation (April 23, 2019)

·        Language: English

·        ISBN-10: 0871300796

·        ISBN-13: 978-0871300799

·        Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.2 x 8.8 inches

Printer: Meridian Printing – East Greenwich, Rhode Island

Lee Friedlander Archivist: Stephanie Prussin

Design & Typography: Katey Homans

Garry Winogrand - PBS American Masters

I got lucky and saw Fraenkel Gallery’s Instagram post about the PBS American Masters documentary on Garry Winogrand which aired last Thursday night. 

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Winogrand is my favorite photographer, I saw his 1988 retrospective at MoMA curated by Szarkowski, I saw SFMoMA’s 2015 retrospective, I saw the exhibition at Pier 24 gallery where they displayed prints of every image from his Women are Beautiful book on one massive wall, and I even attended Geoff Dyers's lecture last year at Getty for the release of his book on Winogrand.

I have seen several videos of interviews of Winogrand, have numerous books on his work, but I always want to learn more about him and his process.  This PBS documentary is amazing.  It has old interviews of Gary, lecture audio from Szarkowski speaking about Winogrand’s work, video shot by Winogrand, interviews of scholars, as well as interviews of his family and friends.  Great insight in to the man. If you like Winogrand’s work, documentary photography, or just great images, you will enjoy this film. 

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americanmasters/garry-winogrand-all-things-are-photographable-full-film/11339/

Also, as a documentary photographer who photographs on the street, I particularly loved these following three quotes from the film about Street Photography :

“If we applied standard definitions of propriety and niceness to photographers working in the street we’d be left without a lot of the great pictures in the history of photography.”

Jeffrey Fraenkel – Gallerist

“I find it kind of intriguing because we allow the State to photograph us so relentlessly and yet people don’t seem as bothered by that as they do by someone who is clearly an artist.”

Michael Ernest Sweet – Photographer

 

“It’s an artistic process, you live within this process.  So the questions of surveillance, political correctness, all of that stuff, it’s just totally irrelevant.  Now perhaps that makes the few of us who even understand what I’m talking about right now are dinosaurs or insensitive ghouls or whatever…but who cares about that?”

Tod Papageorge – Photographer

 

 

Pier 24 Gallery

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