Lot Details

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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Publication: Sternfeld, Joel. When it changed / Joel Sternfeld. Göttingen : Steidl, 2008. Sternfeld, Joel. Sweet earth : experimental utopias in America / Joel Sternfeld. Göttingen : Steidl, 2006. Sternfeld, Joel. American prospects / Joel Sternfeld ; essays by Kerry Brougher, Andy Grunberg and Anne W. Tucker. New York : D.A.P./Distributed Art Publishers, 2003. Sternfeld, Joel. Treading on kings : protesting the G8 in Genoa / Joel Sternfeld. Göttingen : Steidl, c2002. Sternfeld, Joel. Walking the High Line / Joel Sternfeld ; with essays by Adam Gopnik and John Stilgoe. Göttingen : Steidl ; [New York] : Pace/MacGill Gallery, c2001. Sternfeld, Joel. Stranger Passing. Boston : Bulfinch Press/Little, Brown and Company, 2001. Hunt, Melinda. Hart Island / Melinda Hunt, Joel Sternfeld. Zurich ; New York : Scalo, 1998. Sternfeld, Joel. On this site : landscape in memoriam / Joel Sternfeld. San Francisco : Chronicle Books, c1996. Sternfeld, Joel. Campagna Romana : the countryside of ancient Rome / by Joel Sternfeld ; essays by Richard Brilliant and Theodore E. Stebbins, Jr. New York : Knopf, 1992. Sternfeld, Joel. American prospects : photographs / by Joel Sternfeld ; introduction by Andy Grundberg ; afterword by Anne W. Tucker. New York, NY : Times Books in association with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1987. Larry Fink and Joel Sternfeld : photographs : October 23- November 29, 1981 : San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. San Francisco [Calif.] : The Museum, 1981.
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  • Pickup Location: New York, USA
  • Shipping Dimensions: 13.5 x 17 in. (34.29 x 43.18 cm.)
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