Last month I got my copy of Friedlander's new book Cherry Blossom Time:The Complete Works published by the Fraenkel Gallery.
Originally introduced as a limited edition portfolio of photogravures by Thomas Palmer this series didn't surface much and was bought up rather quickly by collectors and museums.
I have never gotten a chance to see the gravures but knowing the work of Palmer, I'm sure they are breathtaking.
The book is an epic tome to this spiritual Spring phenomenom in Kyoto.
The quality of the reproductions are superb ! They remind me of platinum prints in their delicacy and tonal range. Printed in the dry-trap process on un-coated stock -it is not too different from both the Factory Valleys and American Monument books ,Cherry Blossom Time is a joy to look at.
One of the things that keeps me interested in his work is Friedlander's never ending ability to see the world so clearly in such a crazy way. Its almost as if he overdoses on his meds before he goes out with the Leica. I can imagine him tripping over some rocks, falling on his ass, looks up sees a picture and "click".....walk,rinse, repeat.
In Cherry Blossom Time we get to see the softer side of Lee. The sequence is beautiful. There are at least a dozen that just take my breath away. I am sure I will be looking at this book for some time.
The book is a steal at 60.00 ! I've always said that some of Friedlanders best works are his B sides. Hopefully someone will see fit to publish the Shiloh Battlefield work. I've seen that series and it is stunning. You see a side of Friedlander that is hardly ever seen.
Hey Lee ! Please go back to shooting the Leica . The Superwide work is nice, but IMHO the world you know is still out there in 35mm.
When I was in Paris in October I got a chance to see his show at the Jeu de Paume and I couldn't help but notice how much the French embraced Lee's work. They get it !
From the reviews of his MoMa retro back in July Americans in general still don't know what to do with his work.. They seem ( the critics ) to think there's too much of it. To me thats like saying Atget took too many plates of Paris.....why didn't he travel to Rome instead ?
I guess thats why Paris loves him. They get it.
Robert Adams: Pine Valley
I have not gotten this book yet,but saw it at the Bard College Library.
This is one of Adams' new books that has been released in almost series form. The other is the Portrait in the Landscape book and the Interiors monograph.
I was telling Frank Gohlke just the other week that Bob's work in 35mm is my favorite. I love the immediacy and openess of this work.
There's a constant invitation to come along with him to all these fields and woods he cherishes .
I can't wait to get my copy.
As an aside I just got a note from him the other week and it seems as though he still on occasion carves out woodblocks for prints and notecards.
I feel richer for knowing him.