New York City, 1974.

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Lee Friedlander.


New York City, 1974.


Vintage gelatin-silver print, 7 x 11 in.

Lee Friedlander’s New York City, 1974 was one of the first photographs I acquired. It is a keystone image in Friedlander’s book, American Monuments, whose theme is the tension between our (sincere, if sentimental) respect for our heroes and the prosaic, sometimes chaotic reality of our lives. Like every great work of art, its lessons are indelible once grasped. In time I gradually came to understand the reason I loved photography in general, and this approach to the medium in particular. Rendering visual facts, plainly and clearly can express complex ideas and powerful emotions. While building a collection is fun, the journey of discovery towards understanding what moves you and why is much more so.


Jack Gray