Joel Sternfeld American Prospects

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Joel Sternfeld, Matanuska Glacier, Matanuska Valley, Alaska, July 1984

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Joel Sternfeld, After A Flash Flood, Rancho Mirage, California July 1979

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Joel Sternfeld, Exhausted Renegade Elephant, Woodland, Washington, June 1979

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Joel Sternfeld, Lake Oswego, Oregon, June 1979

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Joel Sternfeld, Solar Pool Petals, Tuscon, Arizona, April 1979

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Joel Sternfeld, Wet 'n Wild Aquatic Theme Park, Orlando, Florida, September 1980

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Joel Sternfeld, Portage Glacier, Alaska, August 1984

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Joel Sternfeld, A Navajo Child near Church Rock New Mexico, September 1982

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Joel Sternfeld, Putney, Vermont, October 1978

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Joel Sternfeld, Location Unknown, Early 1980s

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Joel Sternfeld, West Virginia, March 1983

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Joel Sternfeld, A Young Woman in “Tent City” Outside of Houston Texas, January 1983

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Joel Sternfeld, A Mother Watering a Green Roof, Matanuska Valley, Alaska, August 1984

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Joel Sternfeld, Agoura, California, February 1988

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Among a group who legitimized color as a serious medium for art photographers in the 1970s and 1980s, Joel Sternfeld first came to prominence in 1987 with the publication of American Prospects. The book, which featured pictures taken on a series of road trips across the country, subtly documented underlying socioeconomic issues in America with irony and humor. Both poignant and formally beautiful, the images are now considered one of the most important works from the period, and the tome a landmark contribution to the history of American photography. American Prospects was the first of a number of highly regarded and influential books by Sternfeld, which also includes On This Site and Stranger Passing. And though First Pictures, published this month by Steidl, is the newest by the photographer, the book actually pays tribute to Sternfeld’s beginnings.

Phil Bicker “Joel Sternfeld: A Modern Master’s First Pictures”, Time magazine, Oct. 2011

Images 7-14 are Joel Sternfeld’s unpublished works.

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All images © courtesy of Joel Sternfeld; Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York.

www.luhringaugustine.com