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FRED HERZOG / LEE FRIEDLANDER

A Conversation

ONLINE EXHIBITION

July 22 – August 20, 2021

Fred Herzog Hastings & Carrall, 1968

Fred Herzog
Hastings & Carrall, 1968

Lee Friedlander New York City, 1973

Lee Friedlander
New York City, 1973

Fred Herzog  Emilio's, 1959

Fred Herzog 
Emilio's, 1959

Lee Friedlander Cincinnati, Ohio, 1963

Lee Friedlander
Cincinnati, Ohio, 1963

Fred Herzog Black Cat, 1968

Fred Herzog
Black Cat, 1968

Lee Friedlander Newark, New Jersey, 1962

Lee Friedlander
Newark, New Jersey, 1962

Fred Herzog Dwight D Eisnehower and Richard Nixon 1974

Fred Herzog
Eisie and Dick, 1974

Lee Friedlander Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1972

Lee Friedlander
Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1972

Fred Herzog Man in a Black Hat, 1960

Fred Herzog
Man in a Black Hat, 1960

Lee Friedlander Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1972

Lee Friedlander
Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1972

Fred Herzog Georgia, 1968

Fred Herzog
Georgia, 1968

Lee Friedlander ​Galax, Virginia, 1962

Lee Friedlander
Galax, Virginia, 1962

Press Release

FRED HERZOG/LEE FRIEDLANDER: A CONVERSATION

This online exhibition juxtaposes the work of Fred Herzog and Lee Friedlander—photographers who share many common experiences, influences, and points of view. Both photographers came from families of German ancestry, both spent formative years along the northern Pacific coast, and both were deeply influenced by the photography of Eugene Atget, Walker Evans, and Robert Frank.

Their work is easily distinguishable—Herzog used Kodachrome color slide film nearly exclusively, whereas Friedlander primarily shot black and white negative film—yet when seen together they feel like partners in the creation of a North American panorama that spans 60 years. Their photography reveals a shared interest in the ways that urban complexity intersects with people's lives.

Both Herzog and Friedlander were consciously influenced by Eugène Atget and his pictures of Parisian streets and storefronts. Atget’s use of shop windows as a framing device, as well as the window's ability to reflect the street opposite, is a key inspiration.

The influence of Robert Frank’s unvarnished pictures of American life also can easily be seen in both photographer's work. Frank’s dedication to investigating far flung places along America’s highways is a key precursor for many of Friedlander’s pictures.

Finally, Walker Evans’s clear eyed documentation of vernacular architecture influenced the way Herzog and Friedlander depicted the rapidly changing North American landscape.

Both photographers were interested in recording the unique look of modern life. Herzog and Friedlander’s pictures celebrate the visual excitement of mid-century North American architecture, cars, and signage, using these surroundings to frame the daily moments of the people living amongst this rich visual landscape.

Fred Herzog was born in Germany in 1930 and, after losing both parents amidst the second World War, emigrated to Canada in 1952—first arriving by boat in Montreal and moving to Vancouver, BC a year later in 1953 where he resided for the rest of his life. He studied photography magazines while working aboard steamships for the Canadian Pacific Line and in 1957 he was hired as a medical photographer.  On evenings and weekends he began to roam the streets of Vancouver documenting city life with his camera.

Lee Friedlander was born in Aberdeen, Washington in 1934 and earned money by taking photographs in his teens. He moved to Los Angeles in 1953 and studied photography at the Art Center School in Pasadena. In 1956 he relocated to New York City and began work as a freelance photographer. At the same time he was developing his own unique way of shooting street photography that wove together a dense tapestry of cultural and visual information