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The Nude lies at the centre of Western art. From the beginning of photography it has attracted photographers, many of whom have imitated the forms and postures portrayed by painters. There are a few moments when a photographer has abandoned derivative styles and allowed the viewer to see the body in completely new manner. This occured in America in the work of Edward Weston and in Britain in the work of Bill Brandt. It now occurs in the photographs of Lee Friedlander. Over the last fifteen years, Friedlander has been working with a number of models to create his own way of seeing and photographing the female nude. Little of this work has ever appeared. The photographs are both highly intimate and coolly detached. The frequently surprising perspectives are balanced by the mundane backdrops of ordinary life, the real domestic interiors of the models. This book is published on the occasion of an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art, New York, and confirms Friedlander's stature as one of the greatest photographers of his generation. He appears to have taken a primary theme of Western art and re-invented it.
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Lee Friedlander was born in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1934. His first exhibition was at the International Museum of Photography, George Eastman House, in 1963. His work has been exhibited in major museums throughout the world. His books include Self Portrait (1970), Lee Friedlander- Photographs (1973), The American Monument (1976), Factory Valleys (1982), Lee Friedlander- Portraits (1985), and Like a One-Eyed Cat (1989). In 1990 he received the prestigious award from the MacArthur Foundation.

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