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Museum Folkwang Opens Joel Sternfeld Color Photographs since 1970

The Museum Folkwang is dedicating a first European retrospective to the American photographer Joel Sternfeld (*1944, New York) from 16 July 2011, with around 130 works from over three decades. Entitled Joel Sternfeld – Color Photographs since 1970 eleven projects in total are being shown. One emphasis comes with 60 photographs from his never before published early work, which extends from 1969 to the late 1970s. Sternfeld’s gaze has always been directed at his home country of America, with its particularities, its people and its own landscapes. The exhibition presents upon others works out of the series American Prospects, Stranger Passing, On This Site, Sweet Earth, Walking the High Line, Oxbow Archive, Treading on Kings and When it changed.

Joel Sternfeld A Railroad Artifact, 30th Street, May 2000 © Courtesy of the artist, Luhring Augustine, New York and The Friends of the High Line, New York

Together with Stephan Shore, Joel Sternfeld is one of the most important representatives of New Color Photography, which discovered color for art photography in the 1970s. Influenced by Bauhaus theories of color, its use became his most important agency of style. Sternfeld studied at Dartmouth College and met the pioneer of color art photography, William Eggleston, at Harvard. It was with his exhibition at the MoMA in 1976 that color photography first gained attention as an artistic form of expression.

Joel Sternfeld, McLean, Virginia, December 1978, aus der Serie: American Prospects. Digital C-print. Image size: 42 x 52.5, inches, paper size: 48 x 58.5 inches © Courtesy of the artist and Luhring Augustine, New York, 2011.

From the beginning of his photographic work, the book has been the most important form of presentation for Joel Sternfeld. In the last 20 years he has brought out 11 photo books on his projects. Accompanying the exhibition is a book on Sternfeld’s early, to date unpublished works by Edition Folkwang/Steidl.

The exhibition, curated by Ute Eskildsen, will be leaving on tour after its presentation in the Museum Folkwang with stops in Amsterdam, Berlin and Vienna.

The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive communication program (information to follow).

Supported by the Sparkasse Essen.

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