Lee Friedlander
Lee Friedlander framed by Joel Coen
© Victor&Simon - Joana Luz

Lee Friedlander Framed by Joel Coen

The Tower
Archives Gallery, Level - 2
Starting from 

Discover more

A meeting, a collaborative work, a dedication from one to the other: how can one describe this exercise? Joel Coen, an artist-filmmaker, inserts himself into the work of a fellow artist, photographer Lee Friedlander.

He gathers a purely subjective selection from Friedlander’s body of work, which will be exhibited. This act, cutting edge, individual, and definitive, is here above all an immersion into a new universe where the “I” is primarily exalted through paying tribute to the work of a single man, but also through the visual expression of the curator’s personality. His signature is impossible to ignore. This recomposition of Friedlander’s work creates connections between his images and opens up new perspectives, a productive dialogue between still and moving images.

We can easily recognize the connivance and allusions between the cinema of one and the photography of the other: the fragmentation of time and space via framing and the interplay of lines, acerbic portraits of an America that is going off the rails, the presence of strangeness in the banal, solitary urbanity, the occurrences in everyday life, and even a playful approach to narrative.

Though a one-sided prism, this dual portrait is nonetheless a small survey exhibition of Friedlander’s work as it encompasses thephotographer’s entire career, from the 1960s to the present. Lee Friedlander Framed by Joel Coen brings together two exhibitions that were initially presented simultaneously in New York and in San Francisco. They are shown here together and feature a series of seventy photographic prints and one film, which give a glimpse of the filmmaker’s overall vision. They reveal some of his own story, his personality, and the place Friedlander’s images have had in Coen’s life and work.


Curated by Matthieu Humery, Curator.
This exhibition is part of the “Arles Associé” sequence of the Rencontres d’Arles.




Une heure, une expo (in French only)

For an hour, the mediators of LUMA Arles invite you to (re)discover the exhibition about Lee Friedlander. Each time slot is dedicated to a specific exhibition, enabling visitors to deepen their understanding of an artist's work through a detailed and enriching presentation.

July 26
August 23
September 20

Learn more

Portrait of Lee Friedlander
© Lee Friedlander, courtesy Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco and Luhring Augustine, New York

Lee Friedlander


Lee Friedlander, b. 1934, Aberdeen, Washington, lives and works in New City, New York.

Lee Friedlander began photographing the American social landscape in 1948. With an ability to organize a vast amount of visual information in dynamic compositions, Friedlander has made humorous and poignant images among the chaos of city life or in dense natural landscapes, focusing on countless subjects ranging from cars and trees to monuments and nudes. Fraenkel Gallery began showing Friedlander’s work in 1979, the year the gallery opened, and has presented close to 20 solo exhibitions since then.

Many of the photographs from early in his career focus on the street, where he found evidence of the complexity of the American social landscape in sly compositions that record people, buildings, advertisements, and reflections. Friedlander is recognized for a group of self-portraits he began in the 1960s, published in a monograph by Fraenkel Gallery in 2000. His 1960s series The Little Screens shows television screens in motel rooms and other anonymous spaces, pairing disquieting, glowing TV images with their mid-century surroundings. From the 1950s to the 1970s, while continuing his work on the street, Friedlander recorded jazz, country, and blues performers, making images that often appeared on album covers, and were collected in the 1998 publication American Musicians. In the 1970s Friedlander produced The American Monument, a series depicting statues and monuments around the country. Framed to emphasize an ironic or surprising relationship between the markers and their surroundings, the series complicates the notion of commemoration during the decade of America’s bicentennial.

Included among the many monographs designed and published by Friedlander himself are Sticks and Stones, Lee Friedlander: Photographs, Letters From the People, Apples and Olives, Cherry Blossom Time in Japan, Family, and At Work. Starting in 2017, the artist and Yale University Press released an ambitious six-book suite collectively titled The Human Clay—a sweeping collection of street and environmental portraits culled and edited by Friedlander from his extensive archive, many not previously published. Recent projects, such as Signs, Chain Link, Dog’s Best Friend, and Lee Friedlander Framed by Joel Coen have continued the focus on revisiting Friedlander’s 60+ year archive, finding new connections and  themes that have run throughout his career. 

Friedlander’s work was included in the highly influential 1967 New Documents exhibition, curated by John Szarkowski at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 2005, Friedlander was the recipient of the prestigious Hasselblad Award as well as the subject of a major traveling retrospective and catalogue organized by the Museum of Modern Art. In 2010, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, exhibited the entirety of his body of work, America by Car. In 2017, Yale University Art Gallery exhibited and published some of his earliest work, photographs of participants in the 1957 Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom in Washington, D.C. In 2020, Fundación MAPFRE in Madrid organized a major retrospective, which traveled to Barcelona, Berlin, and other cities. His work is held by major collections including the Art Institute of Chicago; George Eastman Museum, Rochester, New York; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Modern Art, New York; National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, among many others.

Portrait of Joel Coen
Courtesy Joel Coen

Joel Coen


Joel Coen, b. 1954, St. Louis Park, Minnesota. Joel Coen is an Academy Award winning filmmaker.

He and his brother Ethan have made 18 films together including No Country For Old Men, Fargo, Blood Simple, True Grit, The Big Lebowski, A Serious Man, Inside Llewyn Davis, Raising Arizona, The Ballad of Buster Scruggs, among others. They have won four Academy Awards for Best Picture, Director, Original and Adapted Screenplay. Other awards include the National Board of Review, Golden Globes, BAFTA, WGA, and DGA. At Cannes they have won Best Director three times, the Grand Prix, and the Palme D’Or. The Tragedy of Macbeth is Joel’s 19th feature film and his solo directorial debut.


Exhibitions Ticketing Practical infos Replay of events Guided tours About LUMA About Atelier LUMA


Sign In

Already have a token ?
Click here to connect with it.

Please enter yout email adress.