Joel Sternfeld
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Presented courtesy of the artist and
Luhring Augustine Gallery

Visit the sponsor's site for additional information, while the catalogue is in development.


If the contamination of paradise has often been Sternfeld's subject, he has likewise tainted the purity of photography in order to capture the condition of America. His shift from spontaneous snapshot to pre-determined picture-making helped open the gates for a new type of photography now practiced by Rineke Dijkstra, Andreas Gursky, Thomas Ruff, Thomas Struth, and Jeff Wall, among many others. Since the publication of his catalogue, American Prospects, photography has largely displaced painting; energized by increased scale, luminosity, color, detail, and narrative implications, it is arguably the most vital form in contemporary art. By corrupting the purity of photography, Sternfeld played a pivotal role in moving the medium forward.

Reprinted from Luhring Augustine press release, 2004.