Joel Coen Puts His Spins On Lee Friedlander

Arthur Lubow at the New York Times:

Coen began by leafing through books of Friedlander pictures and decided to arrange the new book to draw attention to Friedlander’s compositional approaches. “Looking through these books and going back and forth, it was a pattern recognition for me — patterns which I know are instinctive but are manifold in everything he does,” he said.

He began with the artist’s simplest formal structures and advanced into greater complexity. “The first thing I noticed was the splitting,” Coen explained. Friedlander repeatedly organizes a picture with a vertical post dividing the frame. “The post, the post,” Coen continued. “Then I see the posts are slightly diagonal, and the affinity between the diagonal post and how car interiors are designed. Then I see how he uses diagonal shadows like the posts. Now I see how he is using television screens like windows. Now I see how he is using light to define the same areas.” As the book unfolds, the themes and variations become evident.

more here.