Any roadtripper knows that if you pulled over every time a photo opportunity presented itself you’d never get anywhere; taking shots out the window is the next best thing, and Lee Friedlander would probably agree. “America by Car,” the eminent photographer’s latest collection of work, which traveled to The Whitney earlier this month, shows us the way the country looks from a place we’ve all been: the driver’s seat.
Lee Friedlander’s “Mount Rushmore”
For those too impatient to wait the 8 hours for exposure required by Joseph Niepce’s camera obscura, 1839 was a pretty exciting time. It was the year Louis Dageurre perfected his daguerreotype, which didn’t fade and needed less than 30 minutes for exposure. It’s also the starting point of MoMA’s upcoming exhibition “The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture, 1839 to today.” Don’t overlook that tiny preposition of. When the daguerreotype popularized photography, one of its very first subjects were sculptures. It satisfied a dual purpose. One, as sculptures were less mobile (if not entirely immobile) than paintings, sculptors needed their work photographed so it could reach a wider audience. Second, sculptures made ideal subjects. 30 minutes may be a lot less than 8 hours, but it’s still a pretty long time to ask a person to pose without moving.
Swingeing London 67, Richard Hamilton
1969 was a big year; so big, in fact, that people like me, who weren’t alive at the time, have vicarious memories of what it was like. Things like Vietnam, Civil Rights, sexual revolution, and the moon landing spring to mind. To commemorate not only the year itself, but its lasting impact on artists today, P.S.1 has devoted its entire 2nd floor to what it meant to live in 1969. “By juxtaposing the meditative space of the white cube gallery of the transplanted MoMA exhibition with the tumult of the outside world, 1969 reflects the expansive concerns held by artists of the time” like Lee Friedlander, Gary Winogrand, Robert Irwin, Joseph Beuys, Robert Morris and Sol LeWitt, including brand new work from Bruce Nauman, Mel Bochner and Robert Barry.