April 17, 2008

In The Flesh

I finally got to see a typical selection of Lee Friedlander prints at an SFMOMA retrospective the other day, and in many ways I wish I hadn't. It wasn't that the images were bad or disappointing, it's just that the best of them seem to work so much better in his books than hanging there isolated on the gallery walls. They're icons that want to be lovingly pawed over or casually flipped through in dense thickets or looked at in real-life contexts much more than they want to be respectfully gazed at framed on nice white walls in a nice little cultural castle like SFMOMA.

They'd work much better as book or magazine prints torn out and tacked to those same walls.

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