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Joel Sternfeld (American, b.1944)
LOT ID: 66713
Friends, Joseph, Utah, 1983

Chromogenic Print (C-print), Vintage
13.5 х 17 in. (34.29 x 43.18 cm.)
Signed, Signed and editioned on verso
Print/Casting Year 1988
Edition 61/100
Lot description
34,3 x 43,2 cm

Harmonious colors carry the eye through this rural scene, creating a mood both tranquil and energetic. Note the single truck with its sea-foam green cab punctuating the center of the composition. Its role as a local fire department vehicle is evident from its markings on license plate and window--though the contents of its cab are flammable enough.
A stunning scene taken in 1983, with a timeless quality of decades previous.

Like many street photographers working in the 1970s, Joel Sternfeld created images using a 35mm camera because of its unique ability to capture a fleeting moment. His goal was finding that distinctly American moment. [His] Rush Hour (1976) is a series of informal color prints that communicate the immediacy of the “snapshot” aesthetic; blurred images, truncated figures, awkward shadows, and off-kilter compositions lend credence to the photograph as a “real” document that holds some “truth” about American life. The influence of the color photography of William Eggleston led Sternfeld to change the course of his photographic representation. Using an 8x10 view camera, he deliberately evoked the artistic conventions of painting—such as the grander scale often associated with history painting—carefully organizing his compositions, and paying close attention to color, light, and detail. His goal was “to find beauty and harmony in an increasingly uniform, technological and disturbing America.” The resulting large-format photographs were published in American Prospects (1987), a landmark book that brings to mind previous photo essays on the national mood: Walker Evans’s American Photographs (1938) and Robert Frank’s The Americans (1958). In recent years, Sternfeld’s attention has shifted to portraiture. His 2003 series Strangers Passing combines the immediacy and familiarity of the snapshot with carefully staged images.

Biography: Born in New York City, 1944. Studied at Dartmouth College, B.A. 1966. Received numerous awards, including two Guggenheim fellowships, 1978 and 1982; an NEA grant, 1980; and the 1990-91 Prix de Rome. Published seven books of his work, including American Prospects (Distributed Art Publishers, Inc., 1987), Walking the High Line (Steidl Publishing, 2001), and Stranger Passing (Bulfinch Press, 2001). His works have been exhibited internationally, including the 2001 solo exhibition Stranger Passing at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Currently teaches photography at Sarah Lawrence College, Bronxville, New York.[uky.edu]
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Sales Results for Comparable Works

  • Joel Sternfeld

    Boy on a car, Kansas City, Kansas, May
    chromogenic print
    (H 13.7, W 17.1) in.
    (34.8 x 43.4) cm.
    Sold for: US$9,375
    Monday, December 13, 2010
    Christie's New York
    Lot 00049
  • Joel Sternfeld

    Exhausted renegade elephant, Woodland, Washington, June
    dye-transfer print
    (H 13.6, W 17.1) in.
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    Sold for: US$10,980
    Tuesday, November 2, 2010
    Bonhams New York
    Lot 00109
  • Joel Sternfeld

    Exhausted renegade elephant, Woodland, Washington
    dye-transfer print
    (H 13.7, W 16.9) in.
    (34.9 x 42.9) cm.
    Ed. 2/50
    Sold for: US$17,500
    Friday, October 8, 2010
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    Lot 00262
  • Joel Sternfeld

    Elkmont Campground, Smokey Mountain National Park, Tennessee
    dye-transfer print
    (H 13.4, W 17.1) in.
    (34 x 43.5) cm.
    Ed. 1/50
    Sold for: US$13,750
    Friday, October 8, 2010
    Phillips de Pury & Company New York
    Lot 00263
  • Joel Sternfeld

    Joseph, Utah
    c-print
    (H 13.7, W 17.1) in.
    (34.7 x 43.5) cm.
    Ed. 39/100
    Sold for: US$3,250
    Thursday, October 7, 2010
    Christie's New York
    Lot 00125
  • Joel Sternfeld

    After a flash flood, Rancho Mirage, California
    dye transfer print
    (H 15.1, W 18.9) in.
    (38.4 x 48) cm.
    Ed. 4/50
    Sold for: US$14,640
    Thursday, April 2, 2009
    Bloomsbury Auctions - New York
    Lot 00016
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